By Chris Shenep | Director, Arkansas Urology Foundation
As many as 1 in 9 men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime. It is the single most common cancer diagnosis for men, behind skin cancer. For most men, this cancer will be slow-growing and managed with nonsurgical treatments, but for some men it will spread to other parts of the body such as the bones, lymph nodes or other vital organs which often is more difficult to treat. The key is to catch it early.
September marked National Cancer Awareness Month and we’d like to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson for proclaiming this important issue across the entire state. For the 16th year in a row, Arkansas Urology hosted our Kickoff to Men’s Health events, which raises funds and heightens awareness for Prostate Cancer. These events always include free men’s health screenings, elective labs and prostate exams and had been held in our Little Rock and North Little Rock locations. However, this year, recognizing the need to offer this key screening for men across the state, especially in high health disparity areas, we expanded the events to Bentonville, El Dorado, and Pine Bluff.
Why did Arkansas Urology decide to do this during a pandemic? To further our mission of “working as one, we will improve someone’s life today”. While this year looked a little different amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, cancer doesn’t wait and neither should lifesaving preventative screenings. On September 1st, we kicked off the month long festivities with Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott. We celebrated all month long, with local mayors & city officials across the state. Last week, we concluded our festivities with North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith, who will end his successful tenure at the end of 2020.
In the past 16 years, we estimate that our team has screened more than 4,500 men. Approximately 1,100 of those men had an enlarged prostate and more importantly, over 300 men testing with elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, both being potential signs of prostate cancer.
As many Inviting Arkansas readers know, earlier this year, I joined Arkansas Urology to help launch the AU Foundation. The AU Foundation will connect Arkansans of all ages to comprehensive healthcare and wellness through education, collaboration, and advocacy, inspiring and empowering all men and women to live longer healthier and happier lives thanks to the world-class care offered at Arkansas Urology. And, as we move into the month of October, that focus doesn’t stop. Women, please encourage ALL men in your lives over the age of 40 to get screened. Even though Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is over, please know that we need your help and support to finish out the year strong.
For more information, call 501.219.8900 or visit arkasasurology.com/foundation