NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s estimated that prostate cancer will kill more than 26,000 men this year in the United States and the number of new cases at more than 180,000.

The American Cancer Society says about one in seven will be diagnosed during his lifetime. But the important thing to remember is most men diagnosed will not die from it.

Doctors say getting screened is the first step to surviving.

“It remains the 2nd leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States,” says Dr. Thomas Martin, a urologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

He says, “There is a hesitance or self consciousness about being screened because it’s a personal area. And it’s something that the guys get nervous about and are anxious about.”

The screening, a physical exam and blood test, is key to early detection.

“There’s not a particularly evident symptom,” says Dr. Martin, “that you can wait for and say wow, I have this symptom and so I gotta get it checked out.”

Current guidelines are that men age 55 and over, African-American men 40 years and older and those over 40 with a family history should get screened for the curable cancer.

“If they make the commitment to be screened for it, they should do so with the optimism their efforts are going to pay off with good results,” he stresses.

Yale-New Haven is offering a free screening for the target high risk group with the hope the women in their lives are also listening.

Dr. Martin says, “Men being how we all are, hesitate to take care of things at times.”

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

The free screening is Thursday, Sept. 15 at two locations in New Haven:

1. Yale-New Haven Hospital

5 – 7:30 p.m.

330 Orchard Street-Suite 164

Register at 888-700-6543 or www.ynhh.org/events

and scroll down to Sept. 15.

Walk-ins welcome

Free parking available. Bring your ticket

2. Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center

5 – 7 p.m.

226 Dixwell Avenue

Register at 203-503-3000

Walk-ins welcome

Free parking available