Most people don’t think about prostate cancer when they visit a barbershop.

But that’s just what organizers of a prostate cancer screening awareness program are hoping for this month as hundreds of men in the Baton Rouge area are encouraged to cut their risk for prostate cancer when they get a hair cut.

Each year in September, which is designated as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center holds its annual barbershop screening to increase awareness and early detection of the disease.

This year’s event will once again take place at Webb’s Barber Shop, 414 Eddie Robinson Drive. The screening is set from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Other free screenings are planned throughout the area at other locations.

On Friday, prostate, breast and colorectal cancer screenings will be offered from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. at the Gardere Initiative office, 8435 Ned Ave. Registration is required for breast screenings.

Prostate cancer screenings are planned 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Office of 100 Black Men, 2050 N. Foster Drive; and prostate, breast, skin and colorectral screenings are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at Hope Ministries, 4643 Winbourne Ave.

Black males remain the target population for the effort, a news release said. Studies have shown that they have a 60 percent higher risk of prostate cancer compared to white males, in large part because they often lack access to routine health care. Black men are almost 21/2 times more likely to die of the disease than white men, studies show.

“Prostate cancer hits African-American men especially hard,” said Dr. Sheldon Johnson, radiation oncologist at Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. “Males in this community are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer that is more aggressive and more advanced than are men of other ethnicities. They are also more likely to develop the disease at a younger age. Early detection is still the best way to catch this cancer and beat it.”

Prostate screenings are for men age 50 and older who do not have a doctor or have not been screened in the past 12 months. Those at higher risk such as black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should consider being screened beginning at age 45. The prostate cancer screening includes a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and a digital rectal exam performed by a doctor.

Because the American Cancer Society recommends discussing prostate screening with a medical professional, clinicians from the Cancer Center will answer questions about the risks and benefits of prostate screening.

Call (225) 215-1234 for scheduling.