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Guest opinion by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

Six years ago, I started the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booth at the Western Idaho Fair. Since then, the booth has been expanded to fairs in Filer, Blackfoot and Coeur dâ??Alene. I have partnered with regional medical centers, local nurses and physicians and others in the public, private and non-profit health care field to make these important screening centers a reality. I can personally attest to the importance of health screenings, as my own encounter with prostate cancer came from a similar test done long before physical symptoms had occurred. Catching it early, the doctors were able to perform necessary surgery and give me a clean bill of health. Had I not had the screening, the outcome may have proven much worse. And screenings must continue even after youâ??ve been given a clean bill of health. My prostate cancer re-emerged after five years and in 2005, I again underwent a series of treatments to eliminate the cancer. This year, my health awareness booths will be in at the Western Idaho Fair in Garden City from August 18 to August 27; at the North Idaho Fair in Coeur dâ??Alene from August 23 to August 27; in Filer at the Twin Falls County Fair from August 30 through September 4; and, in Blackfoot at the Eastern Idaho State Fair from September 2 to September 9. We have a team of dedicated volunteers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to help you be proactive about your health. Along with prostate and breast cancer screenings, visitors to the booths (depending on the location) will be able to have glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat levels checked.Each booth averages between 100 and 150 visits per fair annually, with a number of men testing positive for indications of prostate cancerâ??many of whom had no prior symptoms. This August as you and your family enjoy the tastes, sights, sounds and smells of your local fair, consider taking a step that could result in many more years of these memories. Visit the health awareness booth at the fair in your area, and use this valuable opportunity to preserve your long-term good health. Please remember to thank the volunteers and enjoy the fair!