Product in focus: PSACheck
March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Organised by Prostate Cancer UK, this special month aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer, as well as raise money so the charity can provide even better support to both sufferers and their families.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
- Each year more than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer
- One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime
- During the last 30 years the incidence of prostate cancer in men aged 40-59 has risen 6-fold
- Over 250,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer
Awareness campaigns such as this play a significant role in helping to ensure that as many people as possible get diagnosed earlier and receive the treatment they need.
Men with prostate cancer often have no symptoms and there is currently no national prostate cancer screening programme in the UK. However, the evidence is that early prostate cancer screening significantly increases prostate cancer survival rates because the sooner it is detected the more likely it is to be curable and easier to treat.
Employers can also help raise awareness by signposting employees to screening services such as PSACheck, an early detection prostate cancer screening test which people can carry out in their own home.
PSACheck is a safe way to be screened for prostate cancer. The test includes the following:
- An online symptomatic and risk assessment questionnaire
- A simple at-home blood collection kit (finger prick)
- A blood test for Free and Total PSA
- Personalised prostate cancer screening programme
The results letter is sent out within one week of the test. Should the test return an abnormal result, the individual may be eligible for referral to a private consultant or to the NHS via their GP. The PSACheck team also telephones everyone with an abnormal test in advance to explain the available options and reduce any anxiety and concerns.
The aim of the PSA home blood test is to find out whether a person’s PSA level is above what would be considered normal. A raised PSA level may indicate prostate cancer but it can also be raised if they suffer from other non-cancerous conditions such as prostatitis (an infection of the prostate), enlarged prostate (sometimes referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH and a normal part of ageing) or even a urinary infection.
The prognosis for prostate cancer is generally good as prostate cancer usually develops very slowly and can be treated in its early stages.
More information on PSACheck is available at www.prostatehealthuk.com.