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FOR RELEASE: September 11, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Get Free Prostate Cancer Information and Screening at Sept. 27 Health Fair
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

For unknown reasons, African-American men are more at risk than white men to develop prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die from it, according to health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and literature distributed by the American Cancer Society.

Each year 195,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 32,000 will die. In Oklahoma, 2,291 men were diagnosed and 393 died from prostate cancer in 2000.

“In order to better combat the disease, we are trying to get the information about prostate cancer out to the at-risk populations so they can take action to prevent the disease or to detect it early,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch.

One opportunity is through community health screenings, such as the upcoming health fair at Tabernacle Baptist Church. Faith and community health partners will sponsor health screenings on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church located at 1829 N.E. 36th St. in Oklahoma City. The health fair is free to the public and will offer health education and health screenings, including prostate cancer screening and digital rectal examinations.

Most cases of prostate cancer occur in men older than 50. It can be detected in its early stages by having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test combined with a digital rectal exam (DRE). The American Cancer Society recommends men have the DRE and PSA screenings every year beginning at age 50 and older. If you are at high risk of prostate cancer, you should begin having these tests at age 45. High-risk men are those who are African-American, or who have a father or brother with prostate cancer at young age.

Other health screenings available for men and women at the Tabernacle health fair include: sickle cell screening, stroke evaluation and blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, diabetes testing, glaucoma, and hearing screenings. For the youth, there will bicycle safety training and immunizations.

Services at the health fair will include arthritis self-help assessments, reflexology, wellness consultation, body fat and health risk assessments, nutrition education, massage therapy, and chiropractic demonstrations. Prevention measures that include healthy, nutritious foods and simple, inexpensive exercise programs will be discussed.

Health partners include: OSDH Arthritis Network, Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, American Heart Association, Integris Health, Mercy Community Health Outreach, St. Anthony Behavioral Medicine, Oklahoma City/County Health Department, Oklahoma Blood Institute, Mary Mahoney Medical Clinic, the OU College of Nursing, and the OSDH Immunization Service.

Other partners include: Tabernacle Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Sickle Cell Association Oklahoma Chapter, Alpha Upsilon Omega Langston University AKA Sorority, Catholic Charities, National Kidney Foundation, Oklahoma Donor Sharing Network, OSDH Injury Prevention Service, The Springlake Division of the Oklahoma City Police Department, Highway Safety Office, Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Service, Oklahoma Lupus Association, Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, The Breast Screening Center, St. Anthony Behavioral Medicine, Body and Soul Reflexology, Nikken Wellness, Central State Massage Academy, Troy & Dollie Smith Cancer Center, and the Chiropractic Wellness Center.

For information about the health fair, contact the OSDH health fair coordinator, Tom Nash, at 405/271-6127.

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