Usually a tale about someone having treatment for cancer can hardly be classed as a ‘good news’ story. But a local Windsor man, John Strange was keen to acknowledge the part that local Community Services Club, Windsor Lions (part of the Lions Clubs International organisation), played in bringing his cancer journey to light – and hopefully to a successful conclusion. Windsor Lions Prostate Cancer Screening Event was held in April at Windsor Racecourse and for John it triggered a series of events that resulted in the removal of his prostate and the cancer it was harbouring.
John emailed the event co-ordinator, Diane Purchase, back in June saying:
‘Can I say a big thank you for organising the prostate cancer event. I saw it advertised at Wexham Park Hospital and decided to book a place. My result was abnormal, and I now have a positive diagnosis which can be easily rectified by surgery. Without your event I would be unaware of this so thank you so very much. I am now badgering people to get tested!’
Almost 1100 men had a simple blood test at the event and almost 70, including John, needed follow up investigations for possible prostate problems which might otherwise have gone undiagnosed.
John has recently reported again to Diane ‘I have now had surgery and they have removed the prostate and hopefully all the cancer…Thanks again to you and the Lions as without your event it would still be silently growing inside of me.’
Talking about the event Diane Purchase commented: ‘Stories like John’s are why we are so passionate about this event. Uncovering just one case like this makes it all worthwhile and we are very grateful to John for sharing this powerful story and encouraging other men to get tested. We hope to stage another event in late 2024 or early 2025.’
Mr J. Strange
6th September 2023
"Thanks to Cancer Testing South, a charity offering PSA blood tests across Surrey and Sussex in a quick and accessible manner, I received a "Red" result indicating need for further action. The resulting GP referral involved a wholly unnecessary and inconclusive traditional Digit Insertion check which interestingly concluded a smooth and healthy prostate on the one side that was accessible. With some great advice and help from The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust [GFCT] via their website www.mypsatests.org.uk, I went to the Imperial College network of hospitals for MRI, biopsy and a cancer diagnosis.
10 weeks after the initial PSA test, I now have a treatment plan which will hopefully be successful within 4-6 months. Not having any prior symptoms, at age 68, I am pleased that the initiative to go to the PSA test has resulted in an early diagnosis, and I would encourage all men to have PSA tests. If you can’t get to one of the open events, order a home testing kit – it could save your life."
Mr S. W.
29th July 2023
"Can I just say a big thank you for organising the prostate testing earlier this year. I saw it advertised at Wexham Park Hospital when having a different blood test organised by my GP. I had been thinking about it and decided to book.
My result was abnormal and I now have a positive diagnosis which can be easily rectified by surgery.
Without your event and the advert at WPH I would be unaware of this so thank you so very much.
I am now badgering people to get tested."
Mr J. S.
27th June 2023
“ Just a quick note to thank you and the team at GFCT for helping Uttoxeter Lions organise and run another successful PSA Testing Event for the men of Uttoxeter. We were delighted to receive the valuable support of Jon and Caroline who ensured that the admin processes ran like clockwork and again a big shout out to Dottie who worked tirelessly throughout the (very hot) evening, ensuring that our phlebotomists were up to speed with requirements and managing the packaging of samples etc.
Having the team from Manchester University in attendance added an additional interest and we would be delighted to include them again at future events.
Mr J. F.
20th June 2023
"The last PSA Testing session at Slough went very well and I would like to send my sincerest thanks to Lindsey and Sophie for their very professional but very friendly way in which they administered the tests.
I am looking forward to seeing them again this coming Sunday, for our next PSA Testing session in Bletchley."
Mr T. R.
20th June 2023
“ Many thanks for your service and the efforts you always make. I speak on behalf of all our members of the Province of Yorkshire North & East Ridings of Freemasons, who I know are so grateful for your service, particularly at York Racecourse and in previous years at York University. Your service constantly is a big preventive factor in saving lives."
Mr M. R.
12th June 2023
“ I attended Wesley Chapel for my PSA test yesterday. The organisation of the clinic was flawless, the Frome Lions took excellent care of the queue and the phlebotomists were cheerful and friendly.
Having spent my entire career of 42 years in the NHS, I know that running large clinics is not always easy but my experience yesterday was great.
I received 3 reminders before my appointment and my results were in my inbox in less than 24 hours – on a Sunday!
I’m most grateful."
Mr Z. G.
19th April 2023
“ I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing this amazing service, and to let you know that without it, I would still be oblivious to the prostate cancer that I have been diagnosed with.
For me, there wasn’t any signs that something was wrong, only the high test results and it was confirmed after I had MRI & CT scans.
My disease is quite advanced but contained within the prostate thankfully. So another year and it would have been a different story.
I am due in surgery on Saturday 25th February, to have the prostate removed, so fingers crossed.
Thank you again!"
Mr G. H.
21st March 2023
“ I would like to say a massive thank you to the Somerset Prostate Support Association.
I took advantage of the offer of a PSA test in Midsomer Norton in September 2022.
I had no symptoms but went for the test as suggested by my wife. To both our surprise my result came back at 11.5 so was red flagged.
I had a further test via my GP confirming a raised PSA level of 12.6. From there I had a referral to Southmead Hospital, an MRI scan, biopsy which confirmed stage 2A prostate cancer. I have now undergone a prostatectomy and am on the road to recovery and hopefully many years of good health ahead.
As I say I had no symptoms.
I have advised many friends and colleagues to have the test and spread the word.
Thank you all for the test option and your efforts."
RWS from Somerset
23rd February 2023
"Thanks for the reminder. Following my last PSA test (which came back as a 4), my GP was reluctant to refer me at first as I hadn’t had the test through them and had no history of prostrate cancer. I wasn’t seen by my GP but when I persisted, I was referred to my local urology unit. They acted very quickly and sent me for further tests, eventually ending up been diagnosed with stage 3 prostrate cancer in May.
I had a robotic Prostatectomy in August last year.
During the various tests the urology unit picked up I also had stage 2 kidney cancer in my left kidney. I underwent a partial Nephrectomy on New Years eve.
I am now cancer free!
I’d like to pass on my sincere gratitude to your team and the work that you do. Without it my life span and quality of life would be greatly reduced."
18th March 2022
"Just wanted to say thank you to you and the GFCT.
I’ve regularly had checks with you over the last few years, except during covid.
Had my first check with you since lockdown last autumn and my PSA levels came back as raised. I’m due a prostatectomy in the next two weeks. No symptoms at all. The foundation is definitely a life saver.
Keep up the brilliant work and thank you!"
Mr H from Leamington Spa
21st April 2022
"To the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust
I am involved with a local Prostate Cancer Support Group and as a P.C.
patient myself I had a need to order one of your 'Self Testing' PSA sample kits.
I required a kit quickly as I had an appointment with a Consultant on a Monday morning, I quickly ordered a self-test kit (on a Thursday) hoping that it would arrive in time for me to do the sample, the sample duly arrived the day after - Friday morning!
My next thought was, would I get the sample back in time if I posted it immediately as it would arrive over the weekend?
I had nothing to lose so I quickly did the sample and posted it off Friday AM.
I checked my account on-line on SUNDAY and was amazed when I saw my the test result had been processed!
Simple and amazing service!! (Who could beat it)."
24th March 2021
“Happy Christmas to you guys, keep up the great work, the last time you checked me l was given an Amber report, unfortunately I had difficulty in getting my GP’s to take my early warning result and my own related symptoms seriously and fobbed off. When I eventually got them to get their act together, time had passed, tests were undertaken, and I was diagnosed with having advanced prostate cancer which had broken out from the prostate! BAD NEWS for me!!!!!
However, thank you guys for the part you played, it seems as though it is definitely a worthwhile exercise, and on an Amber result it is essential one should insist on further tests and action to be taken.
As a PS., A friend of mine who also attended your PSA blood tests did have a green light, but on hearing about my dilemma decided to ask his GP for a PSA blood test and was similarly fobbed off and told that blood tests are not reliable and do not necessarily prove prostate problems and to return sometime in the new year to decide on whether or not he should then have a PSA test, l am proof to the contrary.
Graham from Whitchurch
23rd December 2020
"The test result did in fact show prostate cancer that had bubbled forming a 9mm tumour. The cancer was too near the bladder for brachytherapy which would have been my preferred course of treatment. I had a Robotic Prostatectomy in Guys Hospital in March of this year. From diagnosis to surgery, the tumour had penetrated the capsule but the surgeon is confident that he removed all of the cancer.
The PSA test 6 week after surgery saw a level of undetectable. I have no incontinence issues and am confident that the 50% erectile dysfunction will improve with time. I will be PSA monitored every 4 months for the next couple of years.
Through the course of the diagnosis for cancer, they also discovered I have AF. I underwent a Cardioversion in August of this year and will be having an Ablation later this year.
I had no symptoms whatsoever of either of these conditions and felt well in myself. I would have never have thought of having any health check ups for quite a few years if this test had not been done.
I cannot express enough gratitude to Siemens and GFCT for having put a programme in place and in truth, saving my life.
I would most of all like to thank you for your talk in Siemens meeting which encouraged so many of us to take a test.
You held our attention with an informative wit that broke through anyone’s embarrassment.
Always in your debt”
Mr J Rush
"Thank you for your recent letter enquiring after my PSA blood test results, as arranged with GFCT at Fratton Park.
As you noted in your let, I had a Red Letter showing a slightly high result and as a response to that letter I saw my G.P. the next day and we had a discussion about the results. He gave me a digital rectal examination and he wasn’t too concerned but he arranged for another blood test and an appointment with an Urologist at our local hospital. The second blood test came back slightly lower at 6.1.
On the 21st May I saw the Urologist, Mr Richard Robinson, who did a D.R.E. and he was not overly concerned but he arranged for a Pelvis Prostate MRI scan on the 27th May. The results showed an area within the prostate that required biopsy. On the 8thJune, a Saturday, I had the biopsy done at Q.A. hospital. After waiting a long 6 weeks for the results, I saw a Cancer nurse who informed that it was cancer but early localised stage. The biopsy was on 4 places but only 1 place had cancer. She thought it would be a choice of radiotherapy or a prostatectomy. She authorised a bone scan and a CT scan and informed me that if they were all clear then I could choose one of these treatments.
On the 19th August, I returned to the Urology department to see a Consultant who gave me the good news that they could offer treatment and I chose a prostatectomy after long discussions with my wife and plenty of research on the internet, we thought this would be the best option. I now have an appointment for the operation on 18th September.
I still have nothing to indicate that I have this cancer, so true to say, that without this blood test, I would have been unaware until things would have become serious and not a good outcome. I am not understating that this blood test has probably saved my life, so thanks to everyone involved with this charity.
Please feel free to make use or promote the charity as you wish and know that I have advised men to go for this blood test if they can or ask their GP’s for it."
Mr D Porter
10th September 2019
"This letter is to thank you for my being made aware of this disease and as it was caught early, I am able to write this letter.
When requesting a routine PSA test in 2017 I found that my GP was not much help and I found that I was queried why I had asked for a PSA test with no symptoms present and he warned me about the risk of treatment outweighing the benefits of early misdiagnosis and procedures due to the test. I persevered and had the test done, citing the blood test taken at your talk as a base to work from, and only after the Consultants and Doctors at YDH had started to test me, was it taken seriously.
The cancer was a very sneaky one that should have shown much higher PSA readings than it was producing, the growth being well developed on the left hand lobe. I never had any urinary problems, no pain, nothing to indicate that I had a T2-T3 cancer.
I would not be here if I had not attended your talk and had the knowledge to fight my corner, such was the attitude I encountered. The PSA result from blood test on the day of the talk was 4.37 and I received an amber letter from you. I had a further test three months afterwards and this showed a drop in PSA level to 3.41. Everything seemed normal so missed out 2016 and left it until 2017. This test rang the alarm bells showed an elevated level and I began my journey into Prostate Cancer treatment.
I and my family thank your for the sterling work you do. "
Mr G H