This could save your life

An evening in Bridgnorth will aim to protect men from a killer disease.

Bridgnorth Lions Club’s annual prostate cancer screening event returns, after being cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The date is Thursday September 30; the venue The Castle Hall, Bridgnorth.

And the club has issued an impassioned plea to all men aged 40 and over to come and get tested.

The club launched its annual public PSA (prostate-specific antigen) Test Event in 2009. Since then, it has carried out 8,000 tests – with 400 men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This could literally be a life-or-death event for some. Prostate cancer kills 13,000 men in the UK every year – but if caught early, the disease is potentially curable. However, its symptoms can often be difficult to recognise.

“Almost without exception, every man who has been picked up with prostate cancer from our test evenings had no idea they had the disease,” said Lions’ spokesman Martin Allen. The pandemic has had a disastrous effect on diagnosis rates, with the NHS at times overwhelmed by Covid patients. The result is that in the past year prostate cancer deaths have shot up by 53 per cent!

It is against this tragic background that Bridgnorth Lions Club was determined to bring back its test evening.

“Prostate cancer kills 13,000 men in the UK every year – but if caught early, the disease is potentially curable.”

This time, though, it comes with a big difference. Rather than a ‘walk-in’ service on the night, as in past years, men will need to register in advance.

This will make organisation more streamlined, cutting out queuing.

“Anyone wishing to attend the event they will need to log on to bnlc.mypsatest.org.uk to register and set up a password-based account,” Martin explained. “Once this has been verified, they will then be able to book an appointment for the evening. Once an appointment is firmed up, they will receive confirmation along with a QR Code Blood Form, which tracks their blood test from the event, to the Lab and on to the bnlc.mypsatest.org.uk website where they will be able to view their results within a matter of days.”

Unfortunately, the system doesn’t allow for men to walk in on the night of the testing as they will not be registered and will not have the QR Code needed to track their test.

“Rather than a ‘walk-in’ service on the night, as in past years, men will need to register in advance.”

Martin continued: “This year we have reduced the minimum age of attendance from 50 to 40 in line with guidance from bnlc.mypsatest.org.uk as incidences of prostate cancer are increasing in the over 40s. We strongly recommend every man over the age of 40 books an appointment to come along on 30th September.”

“We strongly recommend every man over the age of 40 books an appointment to come along on 30th September.”

The prostate cancer screening initiative is one of several public-spirited activities undertaken by Bridgnorth Lions Club, which was formed in 1976 by four like-minded men to help those in the community who are disadvantaged or in need of help. In the intervening 45 years, the club has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local good causes and its membership has grown to 25.

Aside from the prostate screening evening, the club also organises other major events in the town such as the famous Bridgnorth Walk and the Duck Race.

“Because we are local, we serve the unique needs of the community in which we live,” Martin says. “But as we are also global, we can address international challenges such as help for earthquake victims or other natural disasters wherever they occur.”

Having fun while helping their local community is what it’s all about for Lions. The club has an active social calendar, enjoyed by all members and partners.

The organisation was founded in Chicago, USA, in 1917 by insurance agent Melvin Jones, and became international when the first club in Canada was formed in 1920. The UK’s first club was opened in London in 1949. There are now more than 12,000 Lions in 900 clubs in this country.

Melvin Jones’ personal code for life, “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else”, became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world over.

Bridgnorth is part of Lions Clubs International (LCI) – with 1.4million members across the globe. Its motto is ‘We Serve’.

Never was that more poignantly illustrated by the simple blood test on an autumn evening that could help to save a stranger’s life.

The new system will have many advantages:

  • As the test is by appointment there should be no large queues on the night.
  • Appointments can be made immediately via the website.
  • For those with no internet access or who prefer to register in person, walk-in registration sessions will be held at Bridgnorth Library on September 16 and 23, 10am to 4pm and at The Old Castle pub on September 15 and 22, 6pm to 10pm.
  • Once registered on the system, results from all previous tests will be accessible, showing the man’s testing history.
  • With the QR Code Blood Form, the test is processed within four hours of the blood sample reaching the laboratory and the results will be sent to the clinicians automatically. Once the clinicians have assessed the results, an email will be sent to the man, stating that his result can be accessed in his account. There is absolutely no delay in generating the result.
  • Any ‘red’ results for men under the age of 80 can be referred to the RAPID Trial at Imperial College and be seen within 2 weeks of their GP’s referral. At the end of a day’s testing, the man will know whether he has prostate cancer, or another condition, and will be given a treatment guideline.
Register ONLINE now for your appointment on 30 September 2021 bnlc.mypsatests.org.uk

No internet access?

Walk-in registration sessions are available;

The Old Castle Pub, Bridgnorth

Sep 15th & 22nd – 6pm – 10pm

Bridgnorth Library

Sep 16th & 23rd – 10am – 4pm

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