Prostate Cancer Awareness
One in seven men contract Prostate Cancer. It is unfortunately a well proven statistic and it is the UK’s most prevalent cancer in men. There are over 40000 diagnoses each and every year – a frightening statistic, isn’t it.
There are however currently ELEVEN Provinces under UGLE/Supreme Grand Chapter undertaking a series of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood-testing sessions at various local Masonic centres for those Companions and Brethren who seek re-assurance by a simple blood test under the direction and guidance of the Graham Fulford Charitable Trust, a registered Charity. This initiative was first launched in 2014.
The blood sample is forwarded to a Consultant Urological Surgeon for analysis who then reports back to the participant within a period of 7-10 days, confirming the results of the blood test and giving any further, appropriate guidance that might seem necessary. PSA testing is seen as a reasonable guide, now more reliable than ever before but not necessarily 100% accurate in all cases as certain extenuating and personal circumstances may come into play.
But so far, there have been well over 5000 Companions/Brethren who have participated –
- 89% have been advised that there has been no apparent problem.
- 222 participants have been assessed as “border-line” with a recommendation that further advice should be sought from their own GP as soon as can be arranged,
- But most importantly, over 300 participants have been identified as having an immediate problem with an early consultation with their GP strongly recommended. Of those, immediate medical/ surgical procedures have been necessary for 46 participants.
I do feel that these statistics alone warrant our further consideration and involvement in the PSA testing initiative and with certain charitable funding available within the Royal Arch Provincial Charity, we are in a position to underwrite the project initially. As a Royal Arch Companion therefore you will shortly receive further details and guidance from our Provincial Grand Charity Steward, E Comp Mike Green, advising of the Centres and dates at which testing will be available in the months ahead to those wishing to participate and with a suggestion that you may also bring along with you a Brother from your Lodge who would wish to participate, even though not a Royal Arch Mason.
It is true that such a test can be demanded from your own GP on the NHS but I just question how many of us actually take the time and trouble to make an appointment with our Doctor for this very purpose? Those 46 Companions/Brethren mentioned above might tend to agree – did they know, were they aware? I have to confess, Companions, I haven’t been tested but I shall be the first in line when the initiative comes to Northampton.
E Comp Mike Green will be in touch with you individually and Chapter Scribes will also be fully briefed.
Yours sincerely & fraternally,
Wayne E Williams
ME Grand Superintendent