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New for Southampton, doctors at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) have launched an innovative self-referral service for men who have symptoms of prostate cancer or are at higher risk of developing it. It focuses on improving access to specialists, raising awareness of early symptoms and information about testing.

Men can be offered a range of investigations without the need for a GP referral. These include a blood test known as a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test which measures levels of a protein in blood in the prostate gland. It includes other tests such as scans, urinary function assessment and prostate biopsies.

For more info about the PSA test, visit https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/prostate-tests/psa-test.

It is estimated that one in eight men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. Black men are at twice as much risk of prostate cancer and from a younger age, than other men. Symptoms can include slow urine flow, going frequently, getting up at night, difficulty emptying the bladder or blood in the urine although men with early disease often have no symptoms.

Mr Tim Dudderidge, the consultant urological surgeon at UHS who is co-leading the pilot scheme said: “We desperately need an effective early detection process for prostate cancer in the UK and this project should take us one step closer to making that a reality.”