Officials Say Minorities Stay Away From Free Prostate Screenings

September 2, 2004--Posted 4:00 pm CDT

Jonesboro, AR--Area prostate cancer screening coordinators feel they have had pretty good success in getting the word out about the importance of prostate screenings.  They say the turn-out in the area is high and most men seem to be concerned about the problem.  One area they hope to do better in, however, is getting African-American men out to be screened.

“We just don’t see the numbers,” medical physician J Cranfill says, “and the scary thing is they are at a higher risk.”  Many share his concerns.  Minorities have been proven to have higher incidences of prostate cancer, but numbers show that few actually turn out to be screened in Region 8 and nationally each year.

Reasons for the low turnout are unclear, but health officials say they are now working with churches and other local businesses to get the word out about free screenings.  One free screening will be offered September 15 & 16 by St. Bernards Medical Center, beginning at7 a.m. at the St. Bernards Auditorium and continue through noon.  Officials say no one will be turned away.

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which is about the size and shape of a walnut, located below the bladder, and grows throughout a man’s life.  One in six men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetimes.