The Haywards Heath and District Prostate Cancer Support Group tested more than 250 men for the disease at an awareness event on Saturday (October 8).
Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent male cancer killer causing over 10,000 deaths each year in the UK. The group helps men and their partners meeting three times a year at the Dolphin Surgery to hear from expert surgeons, oncologists and nurses about latest treatments and trials.
On Saturday the group, together with PCaSO (Prostate Cancer Network) the Burgess Hill Lions and phlebotomy nurses, carried out blood tests in The Martletts for PSA - an indication of an enlarged prostate, sometimes associated with the cancer.
Although it is not perfect, it can be used as a base line for future tests. A rise in levels can indicate disease in the prostate gland. Due to it being near the bladder, symptoms include difficulty urinating and regular visits to the loo.
The earlier the disease can be caught, the better the long term outcome. While only a small proportion of men will have an unusual result the disease is life threatening for those who discover too late.
Support group chairman Peter Barton, who has lost three friends to the disease in the past few years, added: “We were so delighted to see so many men come for testing but saddened to learn that some local GPs do not routinely offer the test to men over 50 when the NHS says they should when requested.”
The Lions funded the event and handled publicity, arranging the venue, and taking responsibility for bookings.
Tony Parris, of the Lions said: “The event ran very smoothly on time throughout the day, with complimentary comments from men who attended. Results of the tests will be sent by post to the men, who should receive them in around 10 days.
“The local MP, Sir Nicolas Soames called in as did Peter Reed, chairman of Mid Sussex District Council and Jacqui Landriani, the mayor of Burgess Hill.”
For more details about joining the group email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Peter on 01825 722169.
Anyone who would like to get involved helping your local community via Burgess Hill District Lions can contact them on 0845 8332706 or check out our web site on www.bhdlions.org.uk.