Trust and CCG programme supports local charity’s prostate cancer screening event potentially saving men’s lives
In 2019 Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust launched a joint programme with CCG funding and support from Heart of Bucks Community Foundation – Help Us to Help You – designed to attract bids from community groups in areas of economic deprivation and groups who would work in and with communities who have poorer outcomes from cancer treatment. The aim was to support cancer screening, early diagnosis and prevention.
One of these groups was the Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group (CPCSG) who were put in touch with the Trust’s Cancer Team to help develop their project. The result was two events promoting free protein specific antigen (PSA) blood testing to help screen men who are at-risk of developing prostate cancer. The first session in Chesham was attended by 134 men and 12 had results showing a considerably raised PSA level, which will prompt a fast track cancer referral. These men were asymptomatic and would not have been picked up without such testing.
A second event is planned for BAME communities in central Wycombe on 29 October. 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer and being over 50, ethnicity and a family history of prostate cancer also increases the risk. The risk for Afro-Caribbean men is twice that of white men.
Joe Kearney, Urology Oncology ANP at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust said: “It’s great to have events like this to show men who are concerned about prostate cancer how simple, quick and potentially lifesaving it is to have a PSA test. Prostate cancer is not always life-threatening. However, in cases when it is, early diagnosis can help make treatment more effective.
CPCSG Secretary Andrew Scott-Priestley said: “The initiative was driven by CPCSG Chairman Barry Sarl who was keen to ensure men could be tested, particularly those at higher risk such as men from an Afro-Caribbean background and men with a family history of prostate or breast cancers.”
Group Chairman Barry Sarl said: “While the tests cost £20 each, we are aware of the current financial environment and are determined to keep these free to all. However, our charity would accept and be very grateful for donations on the day and sponsorship from businesses who have the community at heart.”
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