Barbershops band together to help clients look good and cut prostate cancer mortality rates
(Baton Rouge, La.) Local barbers are known for cutting hair and making men look their best, but in September they will take on an even more important role: cutting prostate cancer mortality rates. Throughout Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is partnering with 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge and local barbershops to promote free prostate screenings for minority men. After successfully working with Webb’s Barbershop for the past several years, the Cancer Center is expanding its outreach to other locations, raising awareness of high mortality rates for prostate cancer in African-American men.
The prostate cancer screening campaign will also include a contest. The barber referring the most clients to the cancer screenings on September 14 and 26 will receive a gift. Participating barbers will also learn about local cancer statistics, risks factors, and the importance of early detection so they can talk to their clients about why prostate cancer screenings could be lifesaving.
“Barbershops have long been the neighborhood’s place to meet, talk and get a haircut, and to many men, a visit to their barber is like a visit with a close friend. We want to include the topic of prostate cancer awareness in the conversation in order to help those men who are at a higher risk,” says Johnnay Benjamin, early detection and education director at the Cancer Center.
African-American men are at a greater risk for developing prostate cancer, and the mortality rate for the disease among African-American men in the parish is 41 percent higher than white men. The Cancer Center’s free screenings for prostate cancer are focused on getting more minority populations, specifically African-American men without insurance, to get serious about their prostate health. Barbershop screenings are successful around the country in reaching the African-American demographic.
“Barbershops, especially Webb’s Barbershop, are staples in the local African American community. Integrating potentially life-saving conversations about prostate cancer into the relaxed environment of a barbershop is a way we can work together to help decrease high mortality rates in our community,” says Michael Victorian, president of 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge.
Barbers will encourage clients to attend prostate cancer screenings at the following locations: Webb’s Barbershop, 414 Eddie Robinson Senior Drive on September 14 and the office of 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, 2050 N. Foster Drive on September 26.
Barbers interested in participating in this program can call (225) 215-1288 or visit . For information on cancer screenings, call (225) 215-1234.
Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home. The Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that is developing a national model for community cancer care.