PSA Testing

PSA Testing

When and Where

Each test event takes much planning and organisation so we limit the numbers our volunteers undertake and keep our activities within Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex.  Dates are usually, but not exclusively, in Spring and Autumn.

Since we started testing in 2011 PCaSO have tested 20,440 men in our area. Those men with a raised PSA were recommended to see their GP to discuss their result.
In 2019, our last full year of testing pre-pandemic, PCaSO held 25 free PSA testing events and tested 5,776 men across our 3 counties. We found 401 men with a raised PSA level, about 7% of those tested.
On resumption of testing in Oct/Nov 2021, we tested 1154 men at 4 events, and found 60 men with a raised level.

If this is the first time you are considering a PSA Test please read the information below so that you can make an informed choice before booking a PSA test at one of our events.

If you have booked before please scroll down for more details of test events for 2022/23

Watch this site and local advertising for details

Although we provide this as a free service, each test costs us £12 – £15, so we need your donations to meet these expenses.

Donate to PCaSO


A Guide For Men Considering a PSA Test

The PSA test is a blood test which measures the level of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in your blood. PSA is made by the prostate gland, some of it will pass into your blood, the amount depends on your age, the size and health of your prostate.
The PSA test is used to help detect prostate cancer. In its early stages, prostate cancer generally produces no symptoms, so it is important to diagnose the disease before symptoms arise and while it is still potentially curable. A recent trial suggests that treating prostate cancer may significantly prolong a man’s life.

A normal PSA means it is unlikely you have prostate cancer but does not exclude prostate cancer about 15% of all men with a ‘normal’ PSA level may have prostate cancer.

A very high level of PSA (usually greater than 10 ng/ml) is likely to be an indication of prostate cancer and should therefore prompt further investigation.

A slightly or moderately raised PSA level means that other factors – ethnicity, family history, prostate volume, PSA history, and a digital rectal examination (DRE) and MRI scan may be considered in determining whether to send a man for further tests such as prostate biopsy. However, in three quarters of such cases, further tests do not detect cancer

The PSA test does NOT diagnose cancer, but it is the only quick and easy test available There can be other reasons for a moderately elevated PSA¸ e.g. benign enlarged prostate, infection of the prostate (prostatitis), presence of a urinary infection etc., these may need treatment.
Strenuous exercise such as cycling and sexual activity can also increase the PSA levels.

It is known that men whose close relatives – father, uncles, brothers, grandfathers – have had prostate cancer, together with all men of Afro-Caribbean ancestry, are of increased risk and should be tested at 45 or earlier. It is also believed that breast cancer in the family may also increase the chances.

Prostate cancer is not always aggressive or life threatening. Even if further tests do detect early-stage prostate cancer, a specialist may not be able to tell whether the condition is life threatening or harmless. This may make treatment choices difficult for both patient & clinician.

All of these factors have led to the current controversy over the value of the PSA test, however, the uncertainties may be reduced by men having a regular test, ideally on an annual basis.

Regular monitoring of PSA levels can highlight any significant or gradual increase, so that even when the PSA is within the ‘normal’ range, one maybe alerted to the need for further investigation.

The NHS says that any man over 50 is ENTITLED to the PSA test free on the NHS once the pros and cons of the test have been explained.

What Happens At a Test Event

The four and a half minute video to the right was made by PCaSO including footage from a PSA testing event held by PCaSO at Hove in 2019.

In this video Consultant Urologist Christopher Eden discusses Prostate Cancer and the PSA test.

PCaSO will give you a PSA information leaflet at the test event giving information about the test, view leaflet here.

There will also be a PCaSO volunteer on hand to give a short talk or to answer questions before having the test.

PSA Testing

All men over 40 are able to book an appointment online to visit one of our PSA testing sessions, as long as they have made an informed choice based on the benefits, limitations and risks of having the test.

We often work with Lions, Rotary and Freemason clubs who help with the organisation.
PCaSO arranges events where men over 40 can have a free test, although donations on the day are welcome.
A small amount of blood is taken from the arm by trained phlebotomists just like a hospital or surgery.

The blood sample is taken to a NHS accredited hospital laboratory, often a local hospital, where it is analysed by professionals the same way as any other blood sample.

The results of the PSA tests are overseen by a team of practising and retired urologists, based at the GFCT, who analyse the results and grade them into green, amber or red.
You will then be informed by email or text that your result is available.
Letters are also sent by post, depending on which option chosen when booking a test.
If you have chosen to have a test at one of our events, then you will have selected the method in which we will notify you of your results.

Do allow up to 10 to 14 days for the test results to be processed, but we hope this can be processed at less busy times within a few days. Once you have received your notification that your test result is available you will be able to login to our website to find out more details. information here
If you have not received your result within 3 weeks after the event date, please contact us for further assistance.

PSA Results

psa test

The amount of PSA in your blood is measured in nanograms of PSA per millilitre of blood (ng/ml). PSA levels can range from 1 ng/ml to hundreds of ng/ml.

Your first PSA test result is often referred to as a baseline or marker result, it lays down what your PSA level is and for any further tests you have it provides a comparison. Unless the result is high, a one-off test is of little value, you should repeat the test once the baseline is known, how regularly depends on your result.

Doctors will look at the rate of a rising PSA (velocity) comparing it with prior test results. As the PSA level goes up, the chance of cancer being present increases.
Keep a record of your test results on the PCaSO PSA Record Card. Download a copy here

If you’re aged 50–59, your PSA level is considered raised if it’s 3 ng/ml or higher.
If you’re aged 60–69, your PSA level is considered raised if it’s 4 ng/ml or higher.
If you’re aged 70 or over, your PSA level is considered raised if it’s 5 ng/ml or higher.

Normal PSA level – Green letter If your PSA level is not raised, you are unlikely to have cancer, however, the PSA test doesn’t always pick up prostate cancer, about 15% of all men with a ‘normal’ PSA level (under 4 ng/ml) may have prostate cancer.
No immediate action is needed, although you may have further PSA tests in the future.
Information on the green letter will recommend when you next have a PSA test depending on your result, age, any previous results or any risk factors which you may have declared.

Slightly raised PSA level – Amber letter Two out of three men with a slightly raised PSA level will not have prostate cancer, but you might need further tests, including more PSA tests to exclude cancer.
The amber letter will advise you to contact your GP to arrange further tests and discuss the results.

Raised PSA level – Red letter This result is abnormal and outside the guideline range for a man of your age. It does not necessarily imply there is anything seriously wrong with your prostate but you are strongly advised to see your doctor, to repeat your PSA test, examine you and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist urologist possibly under the 2 week wait criterion, especially if the repeated PSA result remains above the limit for your age.

One out of three men with a raised PSA level will have cancer. The higher the level of PSA, the more likely it is to be a sign of cancer. Although the PSA test alone cannot tell you whether you have prostate cancer.

The red letter will also give you the following options:
1. We have an arrangement with GenesisCare who are offering a free 15 minute telephone appointment with a member of their Urology team. These appointments can usually take place within 24 hours. For further information click here
2. You will also find details of the RAPID trial at Imperial College London Hospital enabling you to be referred to Professor Ahmed and his team within two weeks following a referral from your GP. For further information click here

Your doctor may also suggest you have a digital rectal examination (DRE). This is an examination of the prostate gland, during which a doctor will insert a gloved finger into your rectum. You may also be required to undergo a prostate biopsy. Two out of three men who have a biopsy don’t have cancer.

The red letters are followed up after 6 months and the amber letters after 12 months.

At no time does PCaSO or anyone involved with the testing claim to diagnose cancer or any other ailment.

Why

test vialsNew figures – published by PCUK in Feb 2018 – reveal that for the first time more men died from prostate cancer than women died from breast cancer.  Using data from 2015, the latest available, 11,819 men died from prostate cancer in the UK, compared to 11,442 women dying from breast cancer. It means the male-only disease is now the third most common cancer to die from, after lung and bowel cancer.

Since 1999, the number of women dying from breast cancer has been steadily decreasing, while prostate cancer deaths are still on the rise. During that time, breast cancer has benefitted from a screening programme, significant investments in research and more than double the number of published studies compared to ones for prostate cancer.

Despite the alarming figures, the prospects for men with prostate cancer are actually better than ever, with men diagnosed today two-and-a-half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990. Yet due mainly to an increasing and ageing population, the number of men dying from the disease is growing.  Since the NHS won’t bring in a screening programme, PCaSO, with other support groups around the country, will do our best to provide a service.

PSA Home  Testing Kits

During the Covid-19 pandemic a scheme for home testing was set up if you would like to have a PSA test and cannot get to your GP or one of the PCaSO events.
click here for more information

Planned events for 2022/23:

Please Note all events are by online appointment only – Please do not email or call before the BOOKINGS OPEN dates below, we are not able to take phone bookings or reserve places.

Registration & Verification: You will need to first register with the site to set up a personal account using your email address as username and a password before booking an appointment.
For more information on registering an account read here

When filling in the online booking form ensure you use your full first names (avoid Bob, Jim etc.) and check that your name is correct, the autofill facility on some browsers may enter the wrong name.

Results:  You will receive an email or text message informing you that your results are now available. Please then log on to your account on the website  psatesting.org and use your username and password to access your account.

For queries about results please read here

DO NOT PHONE THE NATIONAL HELPLINE FOR YOUR RESULT

Sussex

Burgess Hill
Sat 8th October 2022
10:00-16;00
Bookings now open, please login or register to make a booking here

Copthorne
Sat 22nd. October 2022
10:00-13:00
Bookings now open, please login or register to make a booking here

Peacehaven
Sat 5th .November 2022
10:00-15:00
Bookings Open: 15th Sept 2022
When bookings are open please login or register to make a booking here

East Grinstead
Sat. 26th. November 2022
10:00-16:00
Bookings Open 1st. October 2022
When bookings are open please login or register to make a booking here

Hampshire

Eastleigh
Sat 29th Oct 2022
10:00-14:45
Bookings now open,

please login or register to make a booking here

Waterlooville
Sat 26th Nov 2022
10:00-14:45
Bookings now open,
please login or register to make a booking here

Swanwick
Sat 18th Feb 2023
10:00-14:45
Bookings Open: 1st Jan 2023
When bookings are open please login or register to make a booking here

Alton
Sat 18th Mar 2023
10:00-14:45
Further details to follow

Petersfield
Sat 15th Apr 2023
10:00-14:45
Further details to follow 

Dorset

TBA

To book an appointment use the direct links above or go to psatesting.org

Events may be affected by Govt. Covid restrictions at the time and as a result may be cancelled at short notice, check before you attend.