Arkansas Methodist Medical Center health fair

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  A Region 8 hospital is working hard to keep community residents healthy, happy and fit. Arkansas Methodist Medical Center held it's thirteenth annual Men's Health Fair.

More than thirty vendors were on hand and waiting to discuss a variety of health care issues and options with attendants.

AMMC also offered a number of different free health screenings for men.

Such as blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and even PSA testing.

AMMC Director of Education, Debbie Brehmer, says detecting a problem quickly is a key factor in all diseases, including prostate cancer.

"Early detection for prostate cancer is so, so important. So these yearly screenings for PSA and DRE are extremely important for men to get those done."

But Brehmer says just because your number isn't high, doesn't mean you shouldn't get checked regularly.

"It's not just having a high PSA. Even if you have a jump on your PSA, it's really important to follow that and track it from year to year. So, you want to get a base line and then you want to follow that every year to make sure that you're healthy."

Neurologist, Dr. John Stripling, of Arkansas Methodist Medical Center says the purpose of these events is to get as many people as possible to come in and get tested.

"We try to encourage men to come in, it's a free service, to be screened on a yearly basis for prostate cancer. The sad thing is about prostate cancer is if you don't go through the screening it can develop, grow and spread beyond the prostate and be an incurable situation before you're ever aware that you have a problem. So, by coming in and getting a simple blood test and getting a rectal exam, the odds of the prostate growing and spreading are much less."

Dr. Stripling says an individual has a much better chance of combating their disease if they're aware of the problem early.

"We can cure it if it's at an early stage. That's why it's so important to come in and be checked on a regular basis. Whether it be for colon disease, colon cancer, prostate cancer or other type cancers the screens are very important because catching at an early stage may make the difference between whether it's an incurable situation and whether we have an opportunity to cure you."

Dr. Stripling says getting screened regularly is by far one of the most responsible things a person can do for their health.

"The important thing is that screening should be a part of your health plan every year. It has become imperative that you do this on a yearly basis. I think you should almost pick a month. So, by coming in and getting a simple blood test and getting a rectal exam, the odds of the prostate growing and spreading are much less."

Around six hundred people attended the health fair.

For more information about this event or any others at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, log onto their website.

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