Carrbrook prostate level testing session proves popular

A TESTING session that could warn men if they are susceptible to a type of cancer proved so successful, hopes are high it can be repeated.

Carrbrook’s Buckton Vale Institute saw 80 book in for assessments at an event held by the charity Prostate Cancer Support.

And the blood samples taken by the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust, set up after a close friend and a close family member both died, could signal a key indicator that a patient may be prone to the condition.

Simon Smirk and John Coleman

The test measures the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in your blood and the amount depends on your age and the health of the prostate.

A raised level may show a problem with the prostate. It may not be prostate cancer but another condition like an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or a urinary infection.

Buckton Vale Institute has a close affiliation with charities related to the condition before and officials contacted the charity to ask if it could host a session.

And John Coleman, chairman of Prostate Cancer Support – which has groups all over the north west, including one operating from the restaurant at Dunelm on Ashton-under-Lyne’s Snipe Retail Park – was delighted at the response.

He also knows how vital the tests can be as he has been controlling prostate cancer for 16 years.

He said: “The response to the session being put on showed it was worthwhile.

“Prostate cancer can kill you if you’re not careful. That’s why we do testing like this to make sure it is caught early. If you catch it early, it can be cured.

“I didn’t know anything about it. 16 years ago, there was nothing like this going on, so nobody knew about it and I had symptoms.

“When you start showing symptoms, it’s too late. You can’t cure it but you can control it and I’ve been controlling mine for 16 years.

“Generally, at a session like the one we put on, if 100 people get tested between eight and 10 will show a problem with their prostate.

“Anyone with a problem will be caught early. If they have that issue, we then give them a letter which they take to their doctor and if, unfortunately, it shows they’re suffering from prostate cancer, it can be arranged for the patient to go to the best hospital in London.”

A steady stream of people coming through the door of the Institute, on Long Row, showed just how the message had been received in the community.

And John outlined how it is done at such a ow cost.

He added: “This testing is done by nurses through the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust.

“We pay them with money raised through things like concerts, so effectively it’s free.

“All we ask for is a £5 deposit to make sure they turn up, so we don’t end up with a long list of bookings and an empty room.”

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