Conway physicians will team with Conway Regional Medical Center to offer a free prostate cancer education and a screening to area men on Monday, September 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The 11th annual screening will be held by appointment only at the medical center and is also sponsored by Conway Urology Clinic, CARTI, and the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation. Appointments are being taken and can be made by calling 501-513-5858. The screening is coordinated by Lori Reynolds, a registered nurse and oncology educator at Conway Regional with more than 20 years of nursing experience.
The screening will include a 15-minute prostate education presentation, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam.
“Prostate cancer screening should be individualized and multiple factors need to be taken into account and among those factors are a PSA and rectal exam,” said Jeff Marotte, M.D., a urologist with Conway Urology Clinic. “The PSA is not a perfect test, and these screenings to do not replace a one-on-one visit with your family doctor.”
Dr. Marotte stressed that each man who participates in the screening will receive education related to prostate cancer prior to deciding whether to have the exams.
“We want to make sure they understand the weaknesses and the advantages of the PSA exams prior to having them.”
The screening targets men age 40 to 70 who have not had a screening in the past year. “It’s the guys who are in their 50s and 60s that we really need to focus on,” he said.
Minority groups, particularly African Americans, are at higher risk. He said, “African Americans are at higher risk for prostate cancer nationally, and that is compounded in Arkansas because of lack of access to services and other factors.”
It is important for men to address their risk for prostate cancer because it is the number 2 cancer killer of men, nationally, and kills about 30,000 men annually, according to the Prostate Conditions Education Council.
It is also almost 100 percent survivable when detected early.
Dr. Marotte added that because of lack of awareness in Arkansas “more men die from prostate cancer than women die from breast cancer.” He credited the public awareness generated by organizations, such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and others, for the decline in breast cancer related deaths. “Unfortunately the awareness efforts are just not out there for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Marotte.