Providing PSA Testing for Garforth & District Lions Club – Leah O’Connor’s Blog

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In February 2024, Leeds GP Confederation provided Health Care Assistants, who delivered Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing for Garforth and District Lions Club’s PSA testing event. In her short blog Leah O’Connor, Deputy Operational Team Leader, talks about her experience of the event and the importance of PSA testing.

I attended the Garforth Country Cub in November 2022 as Garforth & District Lions tested over 150 men with a free PSA test, all costs being raised by Garforth Lions. This was made possible with the Confed’s help, as we supported them by providing Health Care Assistant to take the tests on the day.

The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. It’s normal to have a small amount of PSA in your blood, and the amount rises slightly as you get older and your prostate gets bigger. A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer.

Prostate Cancer UK

Due to the success of this event last year, we were asked to help support Garforth Lions again this year in such a great cause, carrying out another event on Wednesday 28th February 2024 in which free tests took place for up to 200 men. Adverts were placed in shops, clubs and pubs in Garforth, Kippax, Aberford, Swillington, Allerton Bywater, Scholes and Barwick advertising the event. The community came together to support this event, with local Primary Care Networks and practices providing sharp bins and other equipment. We supported again this year by providing Health Care Assistants and over 200 men were funded by Garforth Lions to take the tests for free.

Test results were emailed across to each person that had a test taken which they are then advised to pass to their GP to add to their records. In total:

  • 198 attended
  • 169 received a clear result
  • 6 people were recommend retesting in a year
  • 8 people were recommended to consult a GP ASAP

It’s so important to test for prostate cancer, as it’s the most common cancer in men. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and more than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average- that’s 144 men every day! Around 490,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

I am proud to be able to represent the Confed at this event alongside our amazing Health Care Assistants and hope to be able to support them in the future in the amazing work they are doing at Garforth Lions for PSA testing.

Leah O’Connor, Deputy Operational Team Leader