WHAT IS A PSA TEST?
The group believes that all men over the age of 50 (or over 45 if they have relevant disease history) should be offered screening for possible prostate problems including 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 problems. 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 constantly tries to persuade the authorities that routine prostate screening should be offered to all men.
BMJ CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES
You can see a diagram explaining the British Medical Journal's recommendations "Prostate Cancer Screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) : A clinical practice guideline" on the BMJ website at https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3581.
Some years ago, the group made the decision to provide a PSA screening service to men and started to organise walk-in PSA testing sessions in village halls and premises of local groups such as golf clubs, cricket clubs and Masonic Lodges. All we asked was a donation of £10 which partially covered the cost of the test. The last (and potentially final) testing session held by the group was on 7th March 2020 at Middlewich Masonic Hall, shortly before the COVID lockdown started. In the following weeks, the committee decided that it would be impossible under lockdown conditions to hold any further PSA testing sessions and all scheduled events were cancelled.
HOME TESTING KIT
As of Autumn 2020, the same situation applies - the group has no plan to resume PSA testing sessions. The good news is that men who want to obtain a PSA test privately can now do so using a home testing kit recently introduced by the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust, with whom the group worked on our walk-in PSA testing sessions.
You can find out about how the home testing kit works and how to get a test on a short letter we have written. Click here to view.
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