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CONTACT: STEVE MARAVETZ
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037; fax (319) 335-8034
e-mail: steve-maravetz@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Free screenings offered during Bladder Health Week

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Physicians in the department of urology in the University of Iowa College of Medicine will offer free screenings for bladder cancer during Bladder Health Week. The screenings will be given Thursday, Nov. 20, from 3-5:30 p.m. at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and are available to anyone regardless of age or gender.

According to Dr. William See, professor of urology in the UI College of Medicine, the screenings are an important way to diagnose several potentially serious illnesses.

"Blood in the urine can be a symptom of infection, inflammation, cancer and kidney disease," See says. He notes that as many as 10 percent of patients visiting their doctors may have at least microscopic traces of blood in their urine.

"Those most at risk are older people, especially older men," See says.

Bladder Health Week 1997 is Nov. 17-23. It is an initiative by the Bladder Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease and is designed to educate Americans about the dangers of bladder cancer.

This year, more than 50,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be detected in the U.S., and more than 10,000 people will die from the disease. In the United States, it is the fourth most common cancer among men and the ninth most common among women. Men are three times as likely as women to develop the disease. Cigarette smoking doubles the risk for both men and women.

Blood in the urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. Individuals may also feel discomfort while urinating, often described as a "burning" sensation, or may need to urinate more frequently or urgently than usual. These symptoms are also common among individuals with kidney stones, urinary tract infections and in men with enlarged prostate disease or prostate cancer.

To make an appointment for a free screening, call (319) 384-9621. The tests take about 15 minutes and involve only a urine sample.

11/14/97