Half of all men will have a problem with their prostate at some stage of their lives. It could be an infection, enlargement or cancer. One in seven will develop prostate cancer and those with family history of the disease or of African-Caribbean origin are three times more likely to fall prey to it.
The charity Isle of Wight Prostate Cancer Support Group in partnership with Ryde Lions are offering free PSA blood testing for men aged 45 to 85 years on Saturday, October 19 at Ryde Academy. The test will be conducted by trained phlebotomists taking blood from a vein in the arm. This will be analysed at a hospital laboratory and a report produced by a Urological Consultant will be sent within ten working days.
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It is a simple blood test that measures the amount of antigen produced by the prostate entering the blood. It is not a diagnostic/direct test for cancer but gives an indicator of the health of the prostate.
Regular testing showing an increasing reading can indicate a prostate problem, a high reading should trigger further tests to determine if there is a need for any treatment. Despite the increasing number of prostate cancer diagnosis and mortality, there is not a regular screening test, and some GP’s are reluctant to offer a PSA test to men over 50 years.
Without screening, around 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and it is the leading cancer found in men. Around 11,800 men die of this disease annually, one every 45 minutes. Caught in the early stages, the treatment is 80 per cent effective.
General symptoms of problems with the prostate are frequent need to urinate especially at night, bursting to urinate, slow flow, difficult or painful flow, stop/start dribbling, or blood in the urine.
It is essential to book an appointment for this test which can be done online at www.isleofwightprostatecancersupportgroup.org.uk.