More than 200 men attended a prostate cancer screening session in Cowes on Saturday (26th September) at an event organised by the Isle of Wight Prostate Cancer Support Group.
Blood samples were taken by a team of phlebotomists in COVID-secure conditions and couriered to the mainland to be tested for traces of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).
An increased level of PSA – a protein produced by both cancerous and non-cancerous tissue in the prostate – can be an early sign of cancer. The screening allows people to be alerted to the risk at an early stage so they can seek further tests from their GP.
The Isle of Wight Prostate Cancer Support Group provides non-medical support to Island prostate cancer patients, their families and carers. It provides information on the different treatment pathways available and information on patient travel. It also hosts monthly meetings and social events – now mainly taking place online via Zoom due to the pandemic.
The support charity receives help from a number of other charities including the Isle of Wight Freemasons, who donated their hall in Cowes free of charge for the testing sessions. Wightlink also helps with the transfer of blood samples to the mainland following PSA screening sessions.
Alan Taylor from the Isle of Wight Prostate Cancer Support Group said:
“It was certainly a challenge to organise the screening event during the pandemic due to all the extra precautions we had to take to keep everyone safe, but it was a challenge we were happy to rise to as we know that spotting the early signs of prostate cancer gives men the best chance of a full recovery.
“We would like to thank all our supporters and volunteers who made the screening event possible and to those who chose to get tested, we understand what a big step that can be for men and their families.”
Stuart James, Wightlink’s Marketing and Innovations Director, said:
“The Isle of Wight Prostate Cancer Support Group is undertaking really important work on the Island to support men affected by the disease and we are proud to help the group with cross Solent travel.”