Jamaica church hosts prostate screening 1

First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica is hosting its 17th annual free prostate screening on April 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica will host its 17th annual free prostate screening and health fair on April 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

No insurance is required and guests will receive a complimentary breakfast, according to FPCJ. No proof of vaccine is required, but a facemask must be worn for the health screenings. Free parking will be available at the Colosseum Mall, located at 89-02 165 St.

“The screening provides the opportunity for early detection, which is critical for Black men who have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in America,” said the Rev. Patrick O’Connor of FPCJ.

Dr. Douglas Scherr, professor of urology and clinical director of Urologic Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and attending urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian hospital, will conduct the screenings, which are for men 35 and older, according to the church located at 89-60 164 St. Healthfirst, an insurance company, will also be on site Saturday to provide information to people getting screened.

Black men are 50 percent more likely than non-Hispanic white men to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and twice as likely to die from the disease, according to a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center article from Sept. 17, 2021. While genetics plays a role in getting the disease, other factors increase the risk and worsen the outcome of prostate cancer such as age, family history, smoking, limited physical activity and obesity.

Social and environmental issues involving nutrition, access to healthcare and exposure to environmental pollutants may be why there is a higher risk for prostate cancer among Black men, according to MSKCC. Disparities in outcomes can also come down to when the cancer is diagnosed and how men are treated.

MSKCC suggested that Black men should be screened more proactively because of their higher risk and are more likely to be saved by a screening.

Black men and their doctors may need to be more cautious about simply monitoring prostate cancer when it is low-risk and consider acting sooner. Because this population tends to develop a more aggressive form of the disease, MSKCC said, they might want to forgo monitoring the disease over months and years and only increasing treatment if it has progressed. Moving to surgery or radiation sooner may be a better option.

However, due to the underrepresentation of Black men in active surveillance studies, there is no guarantee that a more assertive approach is the best answer, and that needs to be evaluated more before it could be firmly recommended.

Black men make up only 6.7 percent of clinical trials, but organizations like the Prostate Health Education Network, the National Cancer Institute and the Prostate Cancer Foundation are both trying to enroll this population for clinical trials and studies to test new therapies to fight the disease, according to MSKCC.

Saturday’s health fair at FPCJ will also include screenings for diabetes, heart disease, glucose and body mass index, as well as tests for HIV and blood pressure monitoring.

In addition to FPCJ, NewYork-Presbyterian The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, Cornell University, FPCJ’s The Tree of Life (a community development corporation), the Cancer Research and Treatment Fund, the National Standard Abstract, Community Healthcare Network, Healthfirst and Weill Cornell Medicine are sponsors of the screening and the health fair.