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Cancer survival rates in recent years have surpassed 50 percent, a trend that health care experts attribute to early detection and prompt treatment. Healthy individuals, particularly those over age 50, can benefit most from cancer screenings.

Each year, about 6,500 Western New Yorkers take advantage of free cancer screenings at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, which has been offering the service since 1979. During the exminations, blood pressure is taken, urine is tested for protein, sugar, blood and pH, and a test for non-visible blood in the stool is performed.

Women are offered Pap smears, pelvic exams and instruction in breast self-examination. Men are given rectal examinations of the prostate, the PSA test for prostate cancer and instruction in testicular self-examination.

Most test results are given at the time of screening. If further tests are indicated, individuals have the option of scheduling an appointment for cancer-related problems at Roswell Park or with their private physician. To schedule a free cancer screening examination, call 845-8237.

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