With the proceeds of Summerfield’s Boules Tournament, held in September 2018, the Somerset Prostate Support Association (SPSA) was able to take blood samples from 177 men at an event at St James’ Church Hall, Taunton, on Saturday 20th October 2018. The testing was part of a national programme sponsored by the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust to provide early diagnosis of prostate cancer, a disease that affects some 40,000 men in the UK each year.
SPSA is run entirely by volunteers and, in conjunction with the Graham Fulford Trust, they regularly organise such events, co-ordinating medical professionals, laboratory analysis, venue and publicity. This occasion was the first time they used an appointment system, though they were also able to accommodate 40 ‘walk-ins’ on the day, and the total number attending was a record for them,
Simon Beck was one of those tested and he said:
“I was in St James church hall in Taunton October 20 and my PSA test result was red (6.5) and I shall have the biopsy November 29, then the results December 10. What should we be doing to encourage men to get tested? I can reach quite a lot of people using facebook, but exactly how to do it, I’m unsure. Thanks for your help anyway, you people might just have saved my life, I’m going to ask them to remove it if there’s any indication of cancer!”
We were relieved to hear from him subsequently:
“Sample biopsy failed to find any cancer, just an enlarged prostate, so all well for the time being, exactly what I suspected for some years.”
Mr Beck kindly allowed us to quote him and waived his anonymity on the grounds of “the fact I was being tested is all over my facebook page!”
For more information on prostate cancer and PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood testing please visit SPSA’s and the Graham Fulford Trust’s web sites: http://www.somersetprostatecancer.org.uk/ and https://psatests.org.uk/