Free prostate cancer screening set for March 15

The Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation will host its annual free prostate cancer education and screening event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Watkin Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 800 S. Juniper St.

Men between the ages of 40 and 75 can take part in the free preventative health care services, which will include a brief explanation of prostate health and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen. Men with a family history of prostate cancer and African-Americans are in high-risk populations for prostate cancer and are eligible for screening at age 35.

APCF Executive Director Lauren Talbot said, “Men will want to be educated about their risk and options regarding screening and treatment. Men who have a father, brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer have a higher risk of diagnosis themselves.

“It’s important to know men can decrease the risk of prostate cancer by practicing healthy lifestyle choices,” she said.

According to the Arkansas Central Cancer Registry, about 2,000 men in Arkansas will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and 300 men will die from the disease. Men in Arkansas die at a higher rate from prostate cancer than women die from breast cancer. Men have a one in six chance of developing the cancer.

In many cases, Talbot said timely detection is the best opportunity to preserve life and quality of life.

“Should a screening result in a diagnosis of prostate cancer, APCF is here to help with understanding the disease and treatment, finding resources, learning what to expect and how to deal with challenges,” she said. “We have a legion of men and women who have weathered this storm, ready to help those who are newly diagnosed.”

Talbot said she encourages men to establish a baseline PSA score and watch for PSA Velocity, which is the amount and rate a PSA score rises from year-to-year. APCF staff will be available to answer questions and help men determine whether screening is right for them.

For more information about the event and to reserve a spot for the screening, men can contact James Mazique at (870) 489-1614. There must be 45 men pre-registered for screening for the event to occur.