Prostate Screening

Eastleigh Lions offer potential life-saving test for men in town centre

Eastleigh Lions Club, as a Lions Clubs International Centenary project, have teamed up with PCaSO (the local Prostate Cancer Support Charity) and Age Concern Eastleigh to offer PSA testing for all men in the borough between 45 and 75 years old.  Although having this simple test may not guarantee either the presence of, or the non-existence of, Prostate Cancer, it does provide an indication of the possibility of this disease, which is now killing more men than women dying from Breast Cancer.

Essentially, by taking a sample of blood from a vein in the arm and testing it for the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), the level of PSA (a number) is provided.  If this is within normal limits, it is less likely the man supplying the sample has Prostate Cancer, but as these normal limits do increase with age it is beneficial to have a regular test (like the breast cancer screening programme for women) as the PSA rate can be monitored and this may show an abnormal change which would suggest further medical investigation is required.

For those men who have a higher than normal PSA number, this could be an indication of nothing more serious than an enlarged prostate gland, but further (possibly more invasive) tests are required to enable the cause of the high count to be fully understood.   All men who attend the PSA testing will receive their result in the post within a couple of weeks. These results are classified as green, amber or red.

A green result suggests you have a normal result for your age – but continue to watch out for any symptoms.An amber result suggests you are close to the upper “normal” or slightly raised level for a man of your age, and recommends a further test in 3-6 months

A Red result suggests your level is abnormally high, which while not necessarily meaning anything is seriously wrong, comes with a recommendation to have it followed up by your GP.

While early stage prostate cancer may not have any symptoms, there are some indicators (see below) or you may have a family history of prostate or breast cancer which means you are more likely to benefit from the PSA testing.

The symptoms range from erectile problems and aches or pains in the lower back or upper thighs, to having a frequent need to urinate (especially at night), bursting to urinate but finding it difficult, painful or slow flow, or stop/start urination with dribbling or blood in the urine. The highest incidence of prostate cancer is found amongst the African – Caribbean male community.Prostate Cancer, as with any cancer, is most likely to be cured if detected and treated early.  As with other cancers, prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, making it more difficult to treat and less likely to eliminate, hence the offer of PSA testing which is being made by Eastleigh Lions.  Many other Lions Clubs throughout the UK have arranged local testing, and in some cases the numbers attending have been in hundreds, in others, even thousands.

Due to the employment of registered phlebotomists to perform the blood test, the session is timed in 15 minute intervals and ALL men to be tested have to have an appointment.  This ensures minimum waiting time, that you are a “known” candidate and we will have discussed a few straightforward but essential details before you attend.  A simple example is not to have sex during the 24 hours before the test, or not to engage in vigorous exercise such as cycling or running during this period as this can affect the prostate and cause a falsely elevated reading.

The Eastleigh PSA test will be at the Railway Institute, Romsey Road, Eastleigh SO50 9FE on September 22nd between 10.00 and 2.00. Results will be forwarded by post by The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust and all information supplied and held by Eastleigh Lions Club, PCaSO or The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust will remain secure and will comply with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

To book your appointment for your test, please email or text / phone 07580 744618 and Dave will run you through the process.  The advantage with email is that we can send you more information regarding the process and potential benefits, risks and consequences of undertaking a PSA test.  Don’t forget, all tests will be allocated in agreed 15 minute time slots, so you will need to have your diary handy when making contact.

Ladies, although the testing does not apply to you, you are in an ideal position to know if your man is hiding some of the symptoms outlined above, and so you can encourage them to make the call and attend the session to enable you to put your mind at rest.  Also, don’t limit you efforts to your partner, how about encouraging other family members to take the test and start to monitor the PSA results so that any unusual change is flagged up in the future as needing further investigation.  Don’t forget early diagnosis is more likely to be curable than one hidden and progressively getting worse.

Although we are not charging for this testing service, contributions will be most welcome as the actual cost to the charities is between £15 and £25 per person.

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Eastleigh Lions Club was formed in 1966 and is a member of Lions Clubs International, founded in 1917 and now serving communities in over 200 countries with 1.4 million members as the worlds largest service organisation.  All monies raised for charity by Lions is used for charitable causes, with members paying their own subscriptions to cover the administration throughout the organisation.  Lions are men and women who volunteer their time for humanitarian causes.  In Eastleigh, the Lions Club meets each month on the first Friday at The Point, in Leigh Road, at 8.00 pm and enjoys an active social life in addition to providing service to the community and raising funds for distribution to worthy causes.  We run a Go Kart competition each year at the local Barton Park track, have Barn Dances and operate as Santa at a well known local garden centre each year.  We provide marshals for other events, such as the Wyvern 10K run and the Eastleigh Scouts’ St George’s Day parade and run an annual collection for World Sight Day in October at Asda in Chandlers Ford.  We collect over 10,000 used spectacles a year for recycling to developing countries in Africa and Asia and generally enjoy ourselves!  Always on the look-out for new members, we have found that recent retirees can find some worthwhile use for their greatly extended free time, while younger members help as and when they are able.