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.

In 2019, across our counties, PCaSO held 25 free PSA testing events and tested 5,776 men.  We found 401 men with a raised PSA level, about 7% of those tested. Since we started testing in 2011 we have tested 19,286 men in our area. Those men with a raised PSA were recommended to see their GP to discuss their result.

Scroll down for more details of the test.


The PSA test is most useful when doctors can see how it has changed over time.  Keep a record of your test results on the PCaSO PSA Record Card. Download a copy here


Results

For Queries about results please read here

PSA TESTING UPDATE

PCaSO have been running PSA testing events for some nine years but because of the COVID-19 crisis we have cancelled all events for 2020. For some events you may see advertising by supporting groups e.g. Lions or Masons that had already been scheduled for publication prior to this decision

However, there is now an option if you would like to have a PSA test and cannot get to your GP.

Our partners in the testing program, Graham Fulford Charitable Trust (GFCT), offer a personal PSA testing blood collection kit developed by  a  private pathology service, The Doctors Laboratory  (TDL), London.

It  consists of a DIY blood collection kit, taking blood from a finger prick and posting it to TDL, they will test the blood and return the PSA result to GFCT, who will evaluate  it and send you the standard green, amber, or red result letter as usual.  The kit contains all necessary equipment – blood vial, lancets, sterilising swabs, plasters, return postage container and instructions and can be purchased for £22.99.

If you are already on their computer system from a previous PCaSO event, they will compare the result with your past PSA result and advice accordingly.

During August GFCT will send out an email to all men who have been tested by PCaSO in the last year or so, asking if they would like to order a test kit.

The kits can be ordered from GFCT through PCaSO at https://pcaso.mypsatests.org.uk/

PCaSO is not involved in any of the financial and administrative processing  and does not receive any of this money, or any commission. It is all undertaken by GFCT.

You must either register, or login with GFCT, if you already have an account with them, before you can order your home testing kit.

Hopefully we can return to our normal PSA testing events some time in 2021.

Planned events for 2021:

Sussex

Hampshire

Dorset

Watch this site and local advertising for details

Testing costs money so we need your donations to meet these charges

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

What happens at a test

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 leaflet at the test event giving information about the test and there will also be a PCaSO volunteer on hand to give a short talk or to answer questions before having the test.

PSA Testing

The PSA test checks a sample of blood for the Prostate Specific Antigen protein which is produced by the prostate gland. The test does NOT diagnose cancer. A raised reading may indicate that there are problems with the prostate gland which might be infected or enlarged – as often happens with older men.  Or it might be cancer.

A raised reading means that further checks might be necessary and we suggest that men with a raised reading visit their doctor to discuss matters. The test is not completely reliable as it can give a raised reading when there is no cancer – as above – but can also give a normal reading when cancer is present.

BUT it is the only quick and easy test available.psa test

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.

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.

The test

PCaSO arranges events where men over 45 can have a free test.  We often work with Lions, Rotary and Freemason clubs who help with the organisation.

The blood is taken in a vial by trained phlebotomists just like a hospital or surgery.  The vial is taken to a laboratory, often the local hospital, where it is analysed by professionals exactly the same way as any other blood sample.

The result is posted to the man with the suggestion that they have another test after a suitable period or, in around 10 per cent of cases, they go to consult a doctor.

At no time does PCaSO or anyone involved with the testing claim to diagnose cancer or any other ailment.  That is the job of the doctor.

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.