Raleigh, N.C. — Five months ago, Stan Lambeth had a routine physical exam that revealed a high level of prostate-specific antigens in his blood.
Higher numbers of PSA can possibly point to the presence of cancer, but not necessarily.
“The individuals that have really high PSA values may be high because of an enlarged gland or an inflamed gland. It doesn't mean cancer,” said Dr. Cary Robertson, a surgeon and urologist at Duke University Hospital.
Robertson said he likes to look at the results from a series of tests over time, compared against a baseline.
African-American men and others with a family history of prostate cancer should begin annual screening by age 40, Robertson said.
All other men should begin PSA and digital rectal exam screening by age 50.
A biopsy confirmed Lambeth had prostate cancer, but it was caught early, so he had more treatment options to choose from, including a clinical trial.
“I called over, and they said, ‘Well, we're almost over with the study, but we can get you in. You'll be the last one,’” he said.
The trial offered HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) to kill the gland, without surgery.
“I have had very, very few side-effects to it,” Lambeth said.
Now, Lambeth’s cancer is gone, thanks to an annual screening and early detection.
Free prostate screenings are available in Durham this weekend. On Saturday, the screenings are being offered at the Lincoln Community Health Center from 8 a.m. until noon.
On Sunday, the screens are at the Duke Morris Clinic from noon until 4 p.m.