25 Aug 2023

30,000 signature petition calls for trial prostate screening

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 25 August 2023
A test tube for a prostate cancer antigen next to a catheter and a blue ribbon (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

Prostate cancer campaigners are calling for a trial screening programme to be implemented as a first step towards curbing the 700 deaths a year from the disease.

Over 4000 men are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer. Hamilton nurse Kristine Hayward's husband Bruce died from prostate cancer nearly four years ago, aged 66.

She's gathered over 30 thousand signatures on a petition presented to parliament last month.

Bruce, who was also a registered nurse, had regular medical check-ups with his GP which included prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. 

These showed that his levels were rising - a key warning sign - but by the time he was referred to a specialist his cancer had spread and could not be treated.

Kristine Hayward says current testing is unfunded, disorganised and inequitable, allowing too many men to die and the petition calls for a trial screening programme.

Kathryn also speaks with Peter Dickens, Chief Executive of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.