Ron Rainey is healthy today because his prostate cancer was diagnosed and treated early.
It was discovered only because Ron was screened during a routine exam at a health fair.
"At the time of my diagnosis I felt completely normal," said Rainey.
The screening showed an elevated PSA level.
Even though Ron was only 37 years old at the time, the results indicated there might be a problem.
Ron's urologist confirmed early cancer.
"Although they were very immature cells they were everywhere which means they were very aggressive."
Because risk factors for African-Americans are high and a history of prostate cancer existed in his family, Ron chose to have his prostate removed.
He firmly believes that initial screening may have saved his life.
Helen Baldwin of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation agrees there's no substitute for early detection.
"Prostate cancer is highly curable if caught at the right time," said Baldwin.
Right now there are two ways to get screened.
The first is the Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA.
The other is a digital rectal exam.
"Both of them together are better than one or the other. However, there are many men who simply won't do the rectal exam... then it's appropriate just to do a PSA."
In this country a man dies every 18 minutes from prostate cancer so Dr. David's advice is while a rectal exam may not be fun, it is well worth it.
"It only lasts 10 seconds or so and we don't want our men to die of embarrassment."
"Recently prostate screening guidelines have been much debated, but the wisest course of action is this: Get a baseline exam at age 40 and repeat a PSA and rectal exam annually until age 70. Do not panic if a modest increase is found."
Dr. David says if elevated, repeat the PSA every three months and if the level stays stable do nothing. If it increases rapidly you will need a biopsy, the only way to confirm cancer.
With prostate cancer early detection is everything.