Buzzing heads to clip cancer

Black Barbershop Health Initiative addresses prostate cancer, health issues

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By Daryl Bjoraas

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- "I choose to reach out to my community, because it needs to be done," Kintae Lark, Co-Owner of Inspiration Barber-Salon, said. "Our community is in a lot of trouble, and I'm a firm believer that if we want to see change, we have to begin the change ourselves."

"So today, in 12 cities acrosss Indiana, South Bend being one of them, we're doing health screenings inside local barbershops," Karl Nichols, Executive Director of St. Joseph County Minority Health Coalition, said.

"One in every six men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime," Teasa Thompson, Program Manager of Affecting Cancer Together, said. "That's the statistic, and that's a national statistic, and it's true for Indiana."

"We think, 'Oh, I'm alright now,' so we don't get checked out." Starsky Cook, a participant, said. "I want to get checked out, and make sure I'm alright, because I have children. I want to make sure I see their children."

"They do depend on us, because they don't have the big budget to put on a lot of things, so they are looking for volunteers such as myself," Matthew Williams, a volunteer, said.

"It tends to be slow growing, and it tends to be very common, meaning more men will die with the disease than from the disease," Dr. Carl Walker, a Urologist with the South Bend clinic, said. "Aproximately 25-30,000 men in the U.S. will die every year from prostate cancer."

"It's important, and for our community to be healthier these screenings and events need to happen, and they need to be taken advantage of," Nichols said.

"South Bend, if we want to be a better city, we have to be proactive," Lark said.

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