Columbia County residents will be offered free prostate screenings Saturday at two stores in Evans.
Men will have the chance for a prostate specific antigen blood test from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Wal-Mart on Washington Road.
The blood test, offered by Doctors Hospital, should take less than 10 minutes, said Anne Cordeiro, the hospital's community relations manager.
"It's just a simple blood test," she said. "It shouldn't take very long at all."
Cordeiro said the test is especially important for men 50 and older in addition to high-risk men, defined as blacks or those with a family history of prostate cancer. Those at high risk should begin prostate screenings at age 45.
"Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer for men," she said.
The blood test is designed to detect a protein that is produced by the prostate gland.
"If a man's PSA level is elevated, it is possible that he may have prostate cancer, and additional testing is advised," Cordeiro said.
Also, the University Health Care System will offer the same type of blood test at Lowe's on Washington Road from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
No type of preparation or fasting is needed before the blood test.
"You just walk in off the street," said Amy Johnston, community relations specialist at University Hospital. "You fill out a piece of paper, and you get a vial of blood drawn."
Those who participate in the blood test will receive a gift and will be registered to win a free charcoal grill from Lowe's, Johnston said.
University Health Care also will offer screenings at the Lowe's in North and South Augusta this month.
"Last year, we screened over 1,600 people," she said. "We still plan on screening way over 1,000 people."
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