Margate pharmacist promotes PSA testing in the community
(Posted on 27/03/14)
A scheme to combat prostate cancer is being piloted at Margate Pharmacy and selected venues in the Margate area.
Pharmacist Stephen Foster, Manager of Margate Pharmacy, has teamed up with the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust, an organisation that arranges PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing across the country, to go out into the community and provide testing to men who might be at risk.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 40,000 men diagnosed each year.
More than 10,000 men die from prostate cancer every year, making it the second most common cause of deaths from cancer in men after lung cancer; and men aged 45 and over are particularly at risk.
Stephen said: “Men are notoriously bad at taking care of themselves, they tend to ignore health issues and hope it’ll just go away. Particularly with older men, there’s a reluctance to visit a doctor and have things checked out.
“By going to places where they feel comfortable, such as working men’s clubs and local sports venues, we can explain the procedure and get 20-30 men tested each evening.”
Prostate cancer has a five year survival rate of nearly 100 per cent if detected in its early stages, but left unchecked can spread to other areas of the body, which dramatically reduces the chance of successful treatment.
“It is usually secondary cancers which do the most damage, if left unchecked prostate cancer can spread to the bones, bowels or liver and by then it could be too late to treat.” Stephen added.
“I would strongly urge any men who might be experiencing symptoms to contact their local pharmacy or pop along to one of our sessions.
The PSA test is a quick pin-prick blood test, which measures the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in your blood and can be used to detect the early signs of prostate cancer. As PSA is made by the prostate gland, some of it will leak into the bloodstream, and the amount depends on age and the health of the prostate gland.
A raised PSA level may be a sign of a prostate problem. However, this may not be caused by prostate cancer, other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or a urinary infection, can also cause a raised PSA level.
All men over 45 are able to visit one of the Trust’s PSA testing sessions, as long as they have made an informed choice based on the benefits, limitations and risks of having the test.
PSA testing sessions are regularly held in the Margate locality, as well as at Margate Pharmacy. To find your nearest PSA testing venue, contact the pharmacy or the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust.
More information on the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust can be found at: www.grahamfulford.org.uk