WHITCHURCH Rotary Club is backing a free blood test for men over 50 in a bid to help tackle prostate cancer.

For the last four years Whitchurch Rotary Club has provided free PSA tests with more than 1,000 men being tested and the club is the only one in the district that does this type of screening.

Each test costs a between £15 and £20, which is paid for by donations from grateful families and from fundraising, which this year includes a pop-up shop in the town and contributions from Tesco Bags of Help and the Whitchurch Town Council.

The PSA test is a simple blood test used to help detect prostate cancer. In early stages prostate cancer generally produces no symptoms, so it is important to diagnose the disease before symptoms arise and while it is still potentially curable and trials suggest that treatment may prolong life.

A high PSA is likely to indicate prostate cancer and should be investigated further but a moderately-raised PSA means that other factors should be considered in deciding whether a man is sent for further tests.

In three quarters of such cases, further tests do not detect cancer.

There can be other reasons for a moderately-raised PSA, including urinary infection and enlarged prostate, but which may still need treatment.

Chairman of Whitchurch Rotary Club, Peggy Mullock, said: “As many local people as possible have first call on whatever help we can offer because, at the end of the day, we belong to this community.”

The free tests will take place between 6pm and 9pm on Monday, September 23 at Whitchurch Rugby Club.

n For more information call 01948 663693 or email prostatetest@whitchurchrotary.org.uk