Help Us Fight Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is now most commonly diagnosed cancer in UK. We find many men are reticent to consult their GP, so we are campaigning to ensure that all men are aware of the risks and symptoms of prostate cancer and that they visit their GP with any concerns. If caught early, it is usually curable, with some cancers not even requiring treatment, just safe monitoring. If caught late and spread beyond the prostate then the outlook is more serious. We urge all men who are in risk categories for this disease
- those aged over 50,
- black men a
- and those with a family history of prostate cancer
to contact their local doctor’s surgery and talk to a health professional about the benefits of having a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. This is a blood test which can help detect prostate cancer.
The Mobile PSA Testing Clinic
We have therefore launched The Mobile PSA Testing Clinic appeal, which is our most significant and important fundraising initiative since the Stokes Centre for Urology was opened in 2019. The purchase and kit-out of the vehicle will require an investment of around £200,000.
Working in partnership with the Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance, the NHS operated clinic will provide a high-profile mobile point of access to allow more men to get the PSA blood test used to help detect prostate cancer, reaching high risk groups and communities as well as helping to address the shortfall of men remaining untested due to COVID restrictions.
Fully equipped to perform around 8,000 PSA tests per year, the unit will be fully self-contained with dedicated teams of drivers, NHS nurses and healthcare assistants. The clinic will be available out of regular hours, on Saturdays and even at pre-booked locations.
Since January 2022, we have enough money towards our £200,000 target to place an order for a 3.5 ton, ice-white back to back cab Boxer Van. The ‘Man-Van’ needs to be kitted out with the finest testing equipment, computers and software, so we still need the funds to contribute to the running costs, paying the salaries of nurses and drivers for the first twelve months of operation.
To help us reach our target £200,000 so we can get the bus onto the road as soon as possible, you can buy a ticket for £10, click here.
Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms so the only way to catch it early is to have a PSA blood test, so please ‘get on board’ and help us kit out this clinical bus.
Watch our animation explaining why it’s so important to catch Prostate Cancer early
Men have a right to be tested for prostate cancer on a regular basis via their GP if they are aged 50 or over. There is currently no national screening programme, but instead an informed choice programme, called prostate cancer risk management (click here to download PDF) for healthy men aged 50 or over who ask their GP about PSA testing. It aims to give men good information on the pros and cons of a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
The PSA test is not perfect: it will not help find all prostate cancers, it will miss some and will detect some that would never go on to cause harm. NHS England has also produced an information sheet : “PSA testing and prostate cancer: advice for well men aged 50 and over” which should help you decide if you want to have the test or not. It is your decision. Before making your decision you may want to talk to your GP, practice nurse and your partner, family member or a friend.. If you decide to go ahead, your GP can arrange for it to be carried out free on the NHS.
However, we are aware that some doctors do not support prostate cancer testing with this test, especially if men present with no obvious symptoms. It might help to take a print out of this leaflet to give to your GP to explain why you are entitled to a test.
Raised levels of PSA can indicate the presence of prostate cancer cells. However, this can also be due to a range of other factors, such as a urinary infection, an enlarged prostate, vigorous exercise or having had sex within the previous 48 hours.
Men with raised PSA readings will only undergo a biopsy once they have also had an MRI scan (which generates detailed images of the prostate) to give vital clues as to whether it’s cancer, how big the cancer is and whether it appears to be at risk of spreading.
PSA is not a perfect test but some large studies suggest it is about as effective as breast cancer screening in terms of picking up early cancers.
The European study of screening for prostate cancer, a long-running investigation into the value of PSA testing, found that it reduced deaths by up to 22 per cent over an 11-year period, according to results published in The Lancet in 2014.
Men will have a biopsy only if the MRI scan results warrant it, with the hope to distinguish not only that the raised PSA is due to cancer, but to separate the tigers (aggressive cancer) from the pussycats (slow growing) at an early stage and, in the process, reduce the rate of unnecessary biopsies by up to 30 per cent.
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