Don’t let the pandemic put off lifesaving screenings

by Adam Childs ([email protected]) 287 views 

September marks National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. While this year looks different amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, cancer doesn’t wait and neither should lifesaving preventative screenings.

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, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men who don’t smoke. For most men, this cancer will be slow-growing and managed with nonsurgical treatments, but for some men it will be metastatic — life or death. The key is to catch it early.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is just such a moment to catch our breath, consider the big picture and get screened. Arkansas Urology’s Kickoff to Men’s Health events in September includes free men’s health screenings, elective labs and prostate exams.

Arkansas Urology is a practice dedicated to providing same-day access and advanced technology to patients in northwest Arkansas. Our urologists have years of experience and are committed to providing Arkansans with access to world-class care.

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Urology Foundation began its work, marching this effort all year long, across the state, providing free health screenings to Arkansans. These screenings offer baselines on everything from diabetes to heart disease, not urological conditions alone.

Prostate cancer isn’t the setback it once was. Courses of treatment and treatment options have expanded almost exponentially in my lifetime. Arkansas men today can be cured, or look forward to living much longer than ever before. And, I would hasten to add, prostate screenings have been linked to awareness and effort on the part of patients to be more proactive across early detection triggers for other cancers and age-related ailments.

This final word to women with men in their lives over 50, or younger but in a higher risk cohort, which includes Black men with a first-degree relative with a diagnosis: men need your help. Across a range of health and social measures, including the time we take asking questions and getting examined in a single appointment, we minimize self-care.

Help us train up. We will need this advice repeated.

Dr. Adam Childs works for Little Rock-based healthcare provider Arkansas Urology and has been in practice in Northwest Arkansas since 2012. Managing prostate cancer is his specialty, and he serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation. The opinions expressed are those of the author.