Free prostate cancer screenings will be available Monday, Oct. 7 at Conway Regional Medical Center for men over age 50 and men under 50 who are part of the high risk group.

High risk populations include hispanic and black men, and men who have a family history of prostate cancer.

The event is free, but appointments are required, and the deadline for appointments is Tuesday, Oct. 1.

"Last year, more than 140 men were screened thanks to the generosity of the physicians and nurses who spend their own time performing the screenings," said Lori Reynolds, RN, cancer program outreach coordinator at Conway Regional.

Reynolds’ father, Ed Hammontree, was one of those men.

Hammontree’s screen showed an abnormality that when he followed up with his urologist, was prostate cancer.

"I’ve gone every year they’ve had (the screenings.) It was caught by the screening." Hammontree said.

Hammontree’s cancer was caught and removed without radiation.

"Early detection is the key," Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the screenings are for men who have not had a screening in the last year.

Interviews will be conducted over the phone to gather family history when appointments are made.

Participating physicians are James France, Craig Shirley, Jeff Marotte, Shawn Brewer, Robin Koonce and Bryan Imamura.

The screening is sponsored by Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, Conway Urology, CARTI, Conway Regional Health System, and volunteers.

"We want to thank the physicians, Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, and CARTI for their long-term efforts and dedication to our community. This screening helps raise awareness about prostate cancer, and it helps people who might not otherwise be able to have a screening," said Reynolds.

The screening offered will involve a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, a digital rectal exam, and an educational session provided by Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Appointments can be made by calling 501-513-5858.