African American men…do you know your body’s fat index or how to check your blood pressure? Do you know the leading signs of diabetes or the biggest causes of high cholesterol?

If the answer to any of these is no, consider going to the 2009 Men’s Health Symposium: Know Your Numbers on Saturday, October 24.

The event, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Now in its third year, the symposium is designed to educate men about health issues affecting African American males age 35 up. It is sponsored by the Brotherhood, a men’s group affiliated with Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, and 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte.

Kevin Patterson, a member of both groups and a coordinator for the event, said men can come for tests and screenings for prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, blood pressure, high cholesterol, body fat, diabetes and glaucoma.

“Men in general have a problem getting the digital rectal exam, which checks for prostate cancer,” he said. “We want them to feel comfortable getting the test.”

As an incentive, the event will offer raffle tickets at each screening station. Those with the highest number of tickets will get the chance to win a variety of prizes, ranging from T-shirts and gift certificates to the grand prize — a flat-screen TV.

Kraig Holt, who is also a member of the Brotherhood and 100 Black Men, said a member of his church last year was able to detect early signs of prostate cancer by getting a screening at the symposium.

“It is a lifesaving opportunity,” he said.

Patterson said the number of attendees has increased each year. They expect about 200 on Saturday.

“If there are a lot of people there taking the same tests, we can joke and tease each other, but we still get the tests done.”

Date: Sat., Oct. 24
Time: 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Location: Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte)
Cost: free

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