Calling all dudes: Free health screenings this weekend

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 05:19 PM

Duke Medicine and Durham health organizations are making changes to their annual men’s health screening fair this year.

This weekend, local health care professionals are anticipating hundreds of male attendees at their free event, which will do away with prostate cancer blood tests and exams, based on a new American Urological Association recommendation meant to prevent over-testing, and add blood pressure and diabetes screenings, weight and height (BMI) checks, and prostate cancer risk assessments.
The health fair, titled, “Get in the Game,” will be held Saturday at the Lincoln Community Health Center off Fayetteville Street and Sunday at Duke Clinic off Duke Medicine Circle.
Dr. Nadine Barrett, the founding director of the Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities, said this men’s health fair has been around for about 20 years and helps almost 400 men a year.
“The (Duke) Cancer Institute got involved to ensure that those who are going to the prostate screenings have a clear follow-up, especially if they don’t have insurance,” Barrett said.
Valarie Worthy, who is a patient navigator with the Duke Cancer Institute, said men sometimes take more time to get to the doctor than women. One perspective is that men are sometimes more concerned with the tune-up of their cars than the tune-up of their bodies, she said.
Barrett and Worthy said they’ve had multiple generations of families visit the health fair, from sons to grandfathers.
“No man should feel when he leaves that he’s not taken care of,” Worthy said.
Dr. Howard Eisenson, chief medical officer of the Lincoln Community Health Center, said he first participated in this particular men’s health fair last year.
Much of his patient population is low-income, uninsured or both, and he said these events are all about providing an educational one-stop shop.
“You see people suffer from the burden of common diseases who could lower their risks by practicing good self-care,” Eisenson said. “…We see people all the time who have diabetes who didn’t know they had it. A lot of these conditions don’t have any symptoms.”
No appointments are necessary for the free health screenings. The event Saturday will be 8 a.m. to noon at Lincoln Community Health Center, 1301 Fayetteville St., in Durham.
On Sunday, the health fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on the second floor of Duke Clinic 2C, 40 Duke Medicine Circle. There will be free parking available in the Trent Drive garage.