20th Annual Prostate Screening at MPMC A Huge Success
The main lobby at Maria Parham Medical Center was standing room only at the beginning of the 20th Annual Prostate Screening recently held at the hospital. Participation was very strong with 171 men taking advantage of this free event. Participation was also very strong from the provider side with a team of 25 healthcare volunteers led by three local physicians - Urologist Dr. Adrian Ogle (Adrian Ogle Urology), and Family Practice physicians Dr. Gary Smith (Four County Primary Care) and Dr. Ben Dieter (Vance Family Medicine). Making up the remainder of the volunteer team were employees from Maria Parham’s Cancer Center, Surgical Services, Laboratory Services, Guest Services, Housekeeping, Marketing and office staff from Dr. Ogle’s practice.
While the reason for the prostate screening is serious, the overall mood of the participants always seems upbeat. Some of the men have been coming to the event nearly every year it has been offered. David Ruggles, Director of Marketing at MPMC, has been part of the event for nearly 15 of those years and notices familiar faces each time. Ruggles says, “The ‘seasoned’ guys often poke fun at the new guys who seem a bit nervous. There are guys who come together in small groups, offering support and enjoying each other’s company. I remember laughing at three gentlemen who jokingly said that they had better leave their prostate screening stickers on so that when they each got home, their wives wouldn’t suspect they were out having fun.”
Unfortunately, we are reminded of the serious side of the event when each year, irregularities are found either through the examination or through the free blood work. Last year (2011) alone, of the 174 men that were screened, nearly 20% of them received letters that they needed to contact a physician to have follow-up work done. While some of these prostate issues weren’t serious, some of them were, and they would not have been caught had the participant not attended the screening.
Dr. Ogle, who has participated in this event for the last 10 years or so, stated that he and Drs. Smith and Dieter were reminded countless times of the importance of this event. Dr. Ogle adds, “Many of the participants expressed their strong appreciation for us having this annual free event. Many of them don’t have a family doctor and only go to the doctor if they are sick.” Dr. Ogle stresses, “Men often skip their yearly physicals and prostate exams. These important exams can catch physical problems early on, when they are the most treatable.”
To have a screening event of this magnitude, many individuals were needed to help it come together. People like OR techs and nurses who assisted the physicians, phlebotomists who organized the collection process and drew blood, hospital staff and physician office staff that helped with the registration portion, folks that assisted with the flow of the men through the whole process and many, many others. The hospital would like to express their sincere appreciation to EVERYONE who helped make the 20th Annual Prostate Screening such a success.
If you did not come to the screening, but are wondering now if you should have…..research says that men over the age of 50 should see their doctor once a year for a complete medical examination that includes a prostate checkup. The American Cancer Society recommends that men at high risk—African-American men or men who have a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65—begin screenings at age 45. Men at higher risk—those with multiple family members affected by the disease before age 65—should start even earlier, at age 40.
If you are a male who fits the screening criteria and were not able to come to the event this year, please consider calling your family doctor or urologist to make an appointment. Prostate cancer is much more treatable and the survival rate is much higher when detected early.
About Maria Parham Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Hospital
Maria Parham Medical Center, located in Henderson, NC, is a regional hospital serving the people of north central North Carolina and Southside Virginia. As a Duke LifePoint Hospital, Maria Parham offers a combination of Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care, and LifePoint Hospitals’ extensive resources, knowledge and experience in operating community hospitals. Maria Parham offers a wide range of services and the latest technology to meet the healthcare needs of the community. It is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and CMS. For more information about Maria Parham Medical Center, please call (252) 436-1800 or visit www.mphosp.org.