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September 2017

15 minutes that could save a life

Andrew takes the testDuring August, the Meon Valley Lions Club worked in partnership with a local branch of the specialist cancer charity PCaSO, (Prostate Cancer Support Organisation), to operate a PSA testing clinic in Bishops Waltham. The PSA test is a simple blood test for men, that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood and provides a useful indicator of the presence of prostate cancer. 

The Lions had a great response following an extensive adverting campaign on posters, in parish magazines and via social media. In all, 147 men turned from all over the Meon Valley, for the Saturday-morning PSA test sessions at Prior Park Hall, Bishops Waltham. Thanks go to Lion Pete Meadows, who organised the event and also to the PCaSO team of Phlebotomists, who worked tirelessly for over five hours to collect and process the blood samples. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases with age. The average age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years, so the clinic targeted men specifically within the critical age range of 50 to 75.  

PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate, but also by prostate cancer cells. Itís normal for men to have a small amount of PSA in their blood and the amount rises with age and the prostate gets bigger. Although a raised PSA level suggests a problem with the prostate, it may not necessarily be cancer. The test should therefore only be taken as an indicator of a possible cancer, alerting the individual to the heightened risk and prompting further investigations, normally undertaken by a GP. 

The club was delighted by the success of the day, not only for the response and turnout, but also because a number of those attending expressed an interest in the Lions movement and wanted to find out more about becoming a member.  We have no immediate plans for further PSA clinics in the area, so if you have concerns and wish to take a test, you should contact your GP.

Above:  Lion Andrew Brown submits to the PSA test, looking slightly more concerned than the phlebotomist! 

Summer BBQs 

Bowman Morris BBQ

Itís been a busy BBQ summer for the Meon Valley Lions Club with our blazing griddles in action on a number of occasions. The Shirrell Heath Holiday Club is one event we particularly love to support. The Methodist Group in Shirrell Heath run an entire week of activities in a holiday club for young children, culminating in a Friday night party at which we were delighted to lay on the catering for both the children and parents. The food for kids was free, because this was less about fundraising and more about fulfilling our goal of supporting the communities in which our members live and operate. 

Another popular BBQ event for our members is the late-August Morris dance shindig at the Hampshire Bowman. Weíve supported the event for a number of years, usually with a huge complement of staff who for some reason are attracted to this splendid ale emporium. Monies raised went to the pubís nominated charity, MacMillan Cancer.   

Look out for our BBQ again soon at The Wickham Beer Festival in October.