Free prostate cancer clinic to be offered April 24

San Antonio (April 20, 2004) – The numbers don’t lie – one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. That’s why men in San Antonio and surrounding counties are invited to make an appointment for an upcoming free screening session. Researchers in the urology division, department of surgery, at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will see the men during a Saturday morning clinic April 24 at the University Physicians Group Diagnostic Pavilion, 4647 Medical Drive.

The research team seeks to enroll Hispanic, black and non-Hispanic Caucasian men into an ongoing study looking for biomarkers of risk in the genes of these ethnic groups. The study, known as the San Antonio Center of Biomarkers of Risk for Prostate Cancer (SABOR), already has found genetic variations that are important in predisposing a man to prostate cancer, including a particular variation that triples the risk in Hispanic men who have it.

Hours for the clinic are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make an appointment, call (210) 567-0214 in San Antonio or toll-free 1-800-335-4594 in surrounding counties. Men who have never been diagnosed with cancer will discuss their medical history, fill out a diet questionnaire, have a prostate exam and give a blood sample. They will be asked to return for annual checkups during the course of the study. Prostate cancer survivors will undergo the same process but are not required to return for further visits. This screening is for men not already enrolled in SABOR.

The entire visit should take about an hour and parking is free. VIA bus connections also are available, as the Diagnostic Pavilion is across the street from University Hospital. Men who would like to participate but cannot attend the clinic may call the same number for a weekday appointment at one of several convenient locations in San Antonio.

The SABOR study has enrolled 3,000 healthy men, including nearly 40 percent from minority groups, a rate much higher than other large national studies of prostate cancer. Now the researchers plan to compare genetic signatures of men who have had the disease against signatures of men who have not had it.

“It is especially important for three groups of men to seriously consider participating – men with a family history of prostate cancer, black men and Hispanic men,” said Ian M. Thompson Jr., M.D., principal investigator for SABOR and professor and deputy chairman of surgery at the Health Science Center. “These three groups are seriously affected by the disease and have not been the subject of sufficient research in the past. As it appears that there is a distinctly different set of risk factors for each ethnic group, it is extremely important that this wide range of individuals participate in this study.”

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