Health Team

Continuing tradition, Duke to offer free health screenings to men

Posted September 16, 2016 12:32 p.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2016 6:24 p.m. EDT

About one out of every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

Many men don't get recommended screenings for it or for other major health concerns until problems occur, but a free health screening in Durham this weekend leaves men without excuse.

Health care providers know it can be a big challenge getting men to see a doctor.

"Often times, men are not engaging the health system at the same level as women," said Dr. Nadine Barrett of the Duke Cancer Institute's Office of Health Equity and Disparities.

Barrett says a 22-year tradition continues this weekend: the Men's Health Initiative. The Lincoln Health Center in Durham welcomes men on Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until noon, and on Sunday Duke South Clinics holds the initiative from noon until 4 p.m.

It's a free screening, and no appointment is necessary.

"Just show up at the front door, come on in, fill out the appropriate paper work, and then we get them through the appropriate screenings for prostate cancer, hypertension," Barrett said. "At Lincoln, we also have Hepatitis C and HIV testing as well."

Barrett says African-American men are at higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer, especially as they age.

"Make sure that at the age of 40 they're having good conversations with their providers, so that they can make sure that they can make a decision for what's best for them as it relates to screening, and when to get screened," Barrett said.

This weekend, she says the time for screening is now.