Two Buckinghamshire prostate cancer campaigners pleaded for more men to take a simple blood test before its too late. 

Unfortunately, both Andrew Scott-Priestley and Barry Sarl know what they are talking about when it comes to prostate cancer.

The men, now key members of the Chiltern Prostate Cancer Support Group (CPCSG) helping others in Buckinghamshire, lost their dads to the condition, and were diagnosed with it themselves.

Now, they are pleading with other men as they prepare to hold a free PSA blood test event at High Wycombe Arts Centre on July 2.

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Andrew Scott-Priestley, secretary of CPCSG, was diagnosed in 2005.

He said: “The big thrust is about trying to get men to take responsibility for their own health by talking to their GPs or having a PSA check, it’s as simple as that.

“If we can get men to actually go get a PSA test, it’s not a one-off event – just because you got green light this year saying you’re perfectly alright, remember to put it in your diary to do it again next year.

“And that’s the crucial message: both Barry and I had no symptoms whatsoever. We had no idea that this little bastard was growing inside us, unless we had taken action ourselves to make sure that we were investigating, we’d be none the wiser.

“I was clear for ten years, perfectly alright from the age of 50 until 60, and then at 60 it just peaked up a little bit, enough for my GP to say ‘I know exactly what your background has been, so I’m going to refer you’, and thank god he did.

“I had the usual thing: early diagnosis, leading to treatment, and saves your life. And here I am, 17 years later, perfectly alright.”

Early diagnosis is key, emphasised Barry Sarl, chairman of the group.  

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For him, the PSA test was an early birthday gift from his wife.

Barry said: “I wasn’t going to get it done, I thought I had no need, I had no problems.

“But lo and behold, mine came back with a red reading, meaning I should go and speak with my GP as soon as possible, which I did. And thankfully my GP is one of the many, who actually believes in PSA testing, not all GPs are like that, one of the challenges is that we as a group face."

In November 2021, he celebrated five years clear of prostate cancer.

“PSA test certainly saved my life. Unfortunately, both Andrew and my father died of prostate cancer. 

Bucks Free Press: Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group's poster about the upcoming event.Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group's poster about the upcoming event.

"And in fact through the ignorance, my father died in 1980, but it wasn’t until really obvious at the time he was suffering from prostate cancer, really only when it got too late and the cancer had spread to his brain."

Hearing a clinician say the words ‘I’m sorry, you have got cancer’ was one of the scariest things that can ever happen, Barry said.

However, there is light at the “end of the tunnel with prostate cancer,” and the Wycombe Wanderers- endorsed support group and its members are still here to beat the drum to get more men tested.  

Men shouldn’t wait for some “horrible symptom” until they get tested, Andrew said.

“If you’re 45 and over, you should be thinking about talking to your GP, and getting a PSA check. If you’ve got a member of your family – brother, uncle – who has had prostate cancer, then you’re at increased risk, and you must go and put yourself forward.

“If you’re from African-Caribbean heritage, then you’ve got three times the possibility compared with white population, so you ought to go and get yourself checked.”

Currently, 25,000 in the UK don’t know they have prostate cancer, Barry said.

The appointment-only test event will be on July 2 at 10am onwards at Wycombe Arts Centre, 15 Desborough Road, High Wycombe, and bookings can be done via