A life-saving prostate cancer screening session has been held at Buxton’s Masonic Lodge, which saw 50 men checked by health workers who gave up their time for free.
The idea behind the screening was to encourage more people to take up the test to detect the most common form of cancer in men, in an environment they feel comfortable in.
Michael Hitchcock, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of the Derbyshire Freemansons, said: “Men are traditionally very poor at looking after themselves and putting their head in the sand when it comes to health issues, but getting screened could save your life.”
The Freemasons are working with the Inspire Health: Fighting Prostate Cancer campaign to set up more sessions for men to get checked out.
More than 350 members in the county have signed up for the screening, which not only involves an examination but a blood test too.
So far, out of all the men tested, 27 people have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Jyoti Shah, a Macmillan Consultant Urological Surgeon, is the co-founder of the project and conducted the session.
She said: “For those men who have been tested and diagnosed, the cancer has been caught earlier and effective treatment will save these men’s lives. Without the test the cancer could carry on growing undetected and the outcomes may not be as positive.
“Events like this create a positive ripple effect. People spread the word about getting tested, which encourages other people to get tested, and the more people who get tested the sooner we can spot any abnormalities.”
Graham Sisson, Provincial Grand Charity chairman, attended the Buxton session.
He said: “It’s better to get checked out and to know, than not know, and it really could save your life.”
About prostate cancer
Only men have a prostate gland. The prostate is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older.
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way.
In the UK, about one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Men aged 50 or over are more at risk of getting prostate cancer.
For more information, visit www.fightingprostatecancer.co.uk.