A PROSTATE cancer charity will hold its next testing clinic in Ottershaw next month.

Cancer Testing South is again hosted by Trident Honda at its showrooms on Guildford Road on 4 February (10.30am to 1pm) and the clinic is open to any man from 40 to 90. A booking for the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test can be made after registering and reading about the test and results process.

As a volunteer charity, Cancer Testing South asks for a payment, usually £20, which is solely to cover costs. Results are received within days, along with any referral recommendations.

“A man dies of prostate disease every 45 minutes in the UK and this opportunity helps men to increase their chance of discovering any underlying prostate problems,” said Roger Macdivitt, the charity’s chairman and event co-ordinator.

“Only recently the Cancer Testing South phlebotomy team heard that yet another man they had tested was found to have prostate cancer, and its discovery gives him a very good chance of recovery.

“The clinic is a great success, not necessarily in terms of big numbers but that men are travelling long distances as they find nothing near their homes.”

Last year, 272 men were seen at Trident Honda, of whom 247 had a clear green result, 12 an amber score, and 13 a red score. This represents 9% of men who needed further medical advice, the early warning the test aims to achieve.

Clinics are scheduled at Ottershaw for the first Saturday of each month.

However, as Mr Macdivitt explained, men should understand the test, which is a blood test, before booking.

“Because the PSA test is not 100% accurate there is a history of medical teaching that it is not a sufficiently accurate indicator of prostate disease to merit screening.

“If a score is higher than the norm it does not necessarily prove that it is a cancer indicator, and some medications may contribute to a false reading.

“But we know that you do not have to have symptoms to have prostate cancer, and remember that the chance of curing or controlling prostate cancer is very good caught early, but significantly poorer if caught in advanced stages.

“We as a charity make sure that men have the facts before booking and again on the day of the test to ensure that they have choices.

“Figures recently posted by Prostate Cancer UK show the south of England has a high early detection rate, but that’s no reason for complacency, nor for the rest of the country to be a postcode lottery.

“For ourselves, the charity is grateful for the venue and the support of Trident’s management and staff.

“Further ahead, we have a large-scale testing event at Windsor racecourse in April and would love more phlebotomists for that and future events. We are totally volunteer based.

“Please volunteer via [email protected], giving a name and a phone contact number.”

FOR more information and to book or donate, visit www.cancertestingsouth.org.