Early detection saves lives. Our Founder, Colin Stokes and our Trustee and Director or Urology at Royal Surrey and clinical lead for Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance, Stephen Langley, were on BBC Radio Surrey, discussing the pilot scheme to test men for Prostate Cancer, and the need for men to get tested early, before symptoms appear. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is usually curable if caught early.
Prof Stephen Langley
By using a method called case finding, which is a search of GP records, the service aims to find males with risk factors for prostate cancer (aged 50+, family history and black) and aid the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The initial pilot project is being rolled out to 500 men across six GP practices within the Guildford East area of Surrey. It will then be offered to a further 12,000 men throughout the Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance region. Diagnosing prostate cancer early means there is a much greater chance of being able to treat it successfully and this partnership will deliver a sustained case finding campaign to find and identify patents faster.
Working with GPs, they will identify patients at higher risk from GP records based on age, ethnicity, and family history. Patients will either be invited to participate via text message, or will be able to call a dedicated number to run through a simple questionnaire, which will determine whether a test is required.
Once our Mobile PSA Testing Clinic is on the road, we will be able to bring the test to the man. Eligible patients will be invited for a simple blood test known as prostate specific antigen test (PSA) and a urine test. Patients who have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) will be referred to their GP for possible treatment.
For those who have a positive PSA test, further testing will be arranged, and they will be referred onto a urology suspected cancer pathway. By taking patients through this pathway and only referring them to their GP for UTI treatment, it is makes the pathway more streamlined ensuring patients with positive PSA tests are prioritised for clinic appointments to aid in early diagnosis.
Dr Alex Norman, Medical Director at Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance, says: “The challenge with early detection of prostate cancer is that it often has no symptoms in the beginning. Through the national Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme, men aged over 50 years have been able to request a free PSA test from their GP, but due to a general lack of awareness of this disease, and more recently the impact of the pandemic, men have been less likely to come forward about their health.”
“This highly innovative, non-invasive approach will help us identify those most at risk for prostate cancer. And for those men that have not come forward this will make it really easy for them to have a test. We are taking the test to them. As with any illness, catching it early means it is more likely to be cured.”
To help us get our Mobile PSA Testing Clinic on the road, please donate here.