Dave Sinclair, Siteman Offer Free Prostate Cancer Screenings

By Jason Merrill

Aug. 11, 2008 – News that men over 75 shouldn’t get the gold standard screening for prostate cancer rubs at least one survivor the wrong way – and he’s doing something about it.

Dave Sinclair“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 75, and if I did what they say now, I’d have been dead at 76,” says Dave Sinclair, who along with being one of St. Louis’ most famous automobile dealers is also a five year prostate cancer survivor.

“There are two tests that can save you from a horrible death and possibly save you with a benign cure,” says Sinclair of colonoscopy and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a blood draw used to screen men for prostate cancer. “If you don’t get these tests, you’re stupid.”

Sinclair disagrees with suggestions put forth by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force that men over 75 should avoid PSA testing because it leads to unnecessary anxiety, surgery and complications. After a PSA test in 2003 saved his life by finding prostate cancer in its beginning stages, Sinclair is making sure other lives are saved from one of the most curable cancers.

Sinclair will partner with the institution where he underwent prostate cancer treatment – the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine – as well as the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and the St. Louis Rams to offer a series of free PSA screenings at three Dave Sinclair locations in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The screenings will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the following dates:

Tuesday, Sept. 9
Sinclair Buick GMC
5655 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63123

Tuesday, Sept. 16
Sinclair Ford
7466 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63125

Tuesday, Sept. 23
Sinclair Lincoln Mercury St. Peters
4760 North Service Road, St. Peters, MO 63376

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin cancer in the United States, with one in six men developing the disease in the course of his lifetime. The PSA test is a simple blood test looking at an enzyme produced in the prostate. “The PSA test is the critical element in early detection,” says Gerald Andriole, MD, chief of urology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Andriole also disagrees with the suggestions put forth by the task force. “There are certainly many youthful, active 75-year-olds out there with a prolonged life expectancy for whom prostate cancer will be a serious problem,” Andriole says. “Doctors and patients are best served by individualizing the use of the PSA on the basis of a 75-year-old man's overall health picture, not just his chronological age.”

Sinclair considers himself a youthful 80 as he still oversees operations at the car dealerships that bear his name. In fact, at the Buick store at Lindbergh Boulevard and Tesson Ferry Road, Sinclair keeps a desk right in the showroom to visit with customers.

“I have seven children and a good Irish wife named Patricia,” Sinclair says. “I’m too busy to slow down.”

Rams players and cheerleaders also will be on hand for autographs and photos during the free screenings at the Sinclair dealerships. The screenings are made possible through a partnership among the Siteman Cancer Center, the Rams Radio Network and the Dave Sinclair Automotive Group. For more information, to register for the screening or request a free prostate cancer awareness kit, call 800-600-3606.

“The test is free, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital is going to do it,” Sinclair says. “What more could you ask for?”