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Baltimore Men Take Free Prostate Cancer Screening Test

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Despite new medical recommendations to avoid prostate cancer screenings, the service was offered for free Sunday in Baltimore and dozens of men took advantage.

Andrea Fujii has more.

There’s still a demand for prostate cancer screenings as the “Drive Against Prostate Cancer” bus made a stop in the city.

It’s an annual nationwide tour where Zachary Eaton is taking the test again.

“We take advantage of the free screenings when they come up here every year,” he said.

But last week, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force announced the tests may do more harm than good.

“Some groups are saying it is not a highly accurate test,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a CBS News contributor. “There can be false positives leading to unnecessary biopsies, surgeries, radiation, with significant consequences.”

Dr. Sanford Siegel from Chesapeake Urology says the recommendation is dangerous.

“Finding these men is the key to decreasing the death rate from prostate cancer,” he said.

About 217,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

Siegel says in the last 25 years, the death rates have gone from about 40,000 a year to 28,000.

“I can’t attribute that to anything other than early diagnosis through screening and earlier and better treatment,” he said.

Doctors say African-American men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer, so many getting tested say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“You should at least get screened once a year to see if any problems and you can catch it early,” Eaton said.

The new national recommendation isn’t final, but is currently open for public comment.

Chesapeake Urology is offering four more free screenings. To learn more, click here.

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