All men aged 50 to 70 in Surrey and Sussex catchment area will be offered the chance to visit the van for a simple PSA blood test, used to help detect prostate cancer.
Priority will go to those likely to be most at risk, such as black men (at greater risk because they have more genetic mutations that predispose them to the disease) or men who have a close family member who was also affected. In these groups, men over 45 will be targeted.
The Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance is working with more than 50 GP surgeries in the area to identify those who will be offered PSA testing.
‘We hope to save many men’s lives,’ says Prostate Project Trustee, Professor Stephen Langley, director of urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, and clinical lead for the Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance.
‘The cure rate for prostate cancer that is detected early is high — up to 90 per cent.
‘But by the time it has spread to other parts of the body, a cure is normally not possible.
‘And we need to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, because in our region alone we have seen referrals for suspected prostate cancer drop to just 60 or 70 per cent of the normal rate, due to men not being able to see their doctors.
We know men are generally reticent to see their GP about a PSA test, and the situation has been exacerbated by Covid. By bringing the van and the test to men in their community, in a welcoming and non-threatening environment, we hope we will be able to detect prostate cancer early and help save more lives.
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