HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – According to recent data from the National Cancer Institute, approximately 12.6 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. 

July 12, there will be an opportunity for men 40 and older to have a free prostate cancer screening in Huntsville.

The free prostate cancer screening is taking place at the Madison County Health Department located at 301 Max Luther Dr. NW. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Men do not need an appointment for the screening. They can simply show up on Tuesday during the free event.

The free screening is being held by the county health department and the Urology Health Foundation.

Dr. Thomas Moody, Urology Health Foundation president, says when they started this program in 2007 prostate cancer death rates in Alabama were the third highest in the nation.

“Among African American men we were the highest in the nation,” Dr. Moody said. “And the reason was not enough people had the opportunity to get screened and have the opportunity for early detection.”

He says if prostate cancer is caught early it’s almost always curable.

“If it’s caught late, it’s really not,” Dr. Moody added.

When prostate cancer is in its early stages there are no noticeable symptoms. According to the Urology Health Foundation, if a man with prostate cancer waits to act until he has symptoms, the cancer may already have grown outside the prostate and progressed to the point where it is rarely curable.

“Frequently I’ve heard men say, well doc I’m not having any symptoms I don’t think I need to be checked. Well really, early prostate cancer virtually has no symptoms, so the only way to know is to be checked,” Dr. Moody stated.

Moody says people most at risk for prostate cancer are Black men and men with a family history of the disease.

The screening only takes about 10 minutes. It includes a blood test and physical examination.

For more information about the free screening, please contact the Madison County Health Department at 256-539-3711.