Conway Regional Medical Center will host its annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Program and Screening from 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 11.

The free event is open to men 45-75 years old who have not previously been treated for prostate cancer and have not had a prostate screening in the past 12 months.

Lori Reynolds, oncology educator and outreach coordinator, said the screening includes a 15-minute educational presentation by the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a rectal exam.

She said men who are interested need to call 501-513-5858 and make an appointment. After being asked a few questions, they will be scheduled. From there, they can show up on the night of the screening during their designated
appointment time.

She said the last day to call before the screening is Oct. 7.

Urologist Jeffrey Marotte said prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men.

He said many men can show a small, microscopic amount of prostate cancer and they may not even know it, which means they can have it and it not be fatal.

“Often we watch these cancers to make sure they’re not aggressive,” he said.

While the screening doesn’t substitute a patient’s yearly exam with their doctors, Marotte said it offers more education and information on the topic, which opens doors for better conversations with their doctors.

As urologists, Marotte said the goal is to try to detect prostate cancer early so that it can be treated. Not getting tested or examined can be risky to a man’s health, he said.

While prostate cancer doesn’t have a “link like smoking in lung cancer,” Marotte said there are some factors that can contribute including genetics and family history. He said men who are African American and men who have a strong family history of the cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease.

“Those are the two things that put people at risk for having prostate cancer,” he said.

Reynolds said she encourages men to spread the word about the event.

Conway Regional Health System is located at 2302 College Ave.

(Staff writer Hilary Andrews can be reached by email at hilary.andrews@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)