The group believes that all men over the age of 50 (or over 45 if they have relevant disease history) should be screened for Prostate Cancer using a risk-weighted PSA test.
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen which, if present in a blood sample at an elevated level, can show the presence of Prostate Cancer. It is true that the PSA test alone is not a reliable indication of the presence (or absence) of Prostate Cancer. This is one of the reasons why the NHS does not offer a PSA screening service to all men across the board in the same way that screening for Breast and Cervical Cancer is routinely offered to all women.
The group is trying through all channels to persuade the authorities that routine Prostate Cancer screening should be offered to all men.
In the meantime, we made the decision to provide a PSA testing service to men and started to organise walk-in PSA testing sessions in village halls, supermarkets and premises of local groups such as golf clubs, cricket clubs and Masonic Lodges. All we ask is a donation of £10 which partially covers the cost of the test. You can see next few Event Dates, including Testing, coming up in the purple box on the right of this screen. See Calendar for full details of future events. PSA testing is done in association with the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust. You can read a Daily Telegraph article from 2015 about the Trust by clicking here.
When a man attends one of our sessions, before a blood sample is taken (by trained phlebotomists) each man is asked to complete a short health questionnaire and consent form. Together with the PSA level obtained from the blood sample in a laboratory, the answers to these questions help determine more accurately the man's likelihood of having Prostate Cancer. The test results are then posted to the man (usually within a fortnight) explaining the implications of the result. Click here to see more photos of the testing process.
Before they go ahead with the PSA test, we offer a guide to men considering the test in the form of a leaflet that is given out at our PSA Testing sessions. We also offer counselling prior to the test. Click here to see the leaflet.
Note that we provide neither a positive nor negative diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. We can only inform you of the risk that you have Prostate Cancer or not. It is up to you whether you choose to follow up our test result with your GP. To help simplify the result, each letter is graded with one of three "traffic light" statuses indicating your personal risk category.
Green – indicating the result was 'normal' within our guidelines. No immediate need for action. Re-test in 12 months may be recommended.
Amber – indicating the result was outside the 'normal' range with a possible need for action. An "Amber Alert" letter has also been introduced, which means that, although the PSA level is not yet at Amber status, our data has predicted that the next PSA test the man has will be rated Amber.
Red – indicating the result was significantly outside the 'normal' range of our guidelines and we advise seeing a doctor to discuss.
As well as expaining how our guidelines work, the letter provides contact details of how you may obtain further explanation or advice.
Statistics about the results from our PSA testing sessions are maintained in the form of the numbers of Red, Amber and Green letters issued at each session. Click here to see results from recent sessions.
MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS
Also present at some of our testing sessions are representatives of Medical Detection Dogs, a charity researching and training dogs to detect Prostate Cancer by sniffing urine samples. After a man's blood sample is taken he is asked to complete a second questionnaire and consent form and then to provide a urine sample. Samples from willing participants are frozen and later used for training dogs at the Medical Detection Dogs centre in Milton Keynes. See their video here.
You can also download an article from the Daily Telegraph from July 2015 here which explains how the Medical Detection Dogs organization works with the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust to develop new strategies for detecting this killer disease early.