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men only!

I'm afraid that I used this title just to grab your attention - so don't expect a web version of Page 3, a list of Viagra suppliers or even some saucy clocks. This page is much more important than that, so read on.

In June 2010 I met a chap called Simon D'Arcy (actually a Lord - he's a joker but I don't think he was winding me up about that title). Simon was 56 when his wife pressurised him into taking a PSA test for prostate cancer last year. Gina D'Arcy is a nurse and far more aware of the incidence of undetected prostate cancer than your average male. Let's face it, we generally ignore everything about our health in the expectation that it will just go away. Simon had no symptoms, no pains, no discomfort and absolutely no reason to suspect anything at all; he just wanted to put his wife's mind at rest. Well, she probably saved his life - the initial tests were unusually high and further testing showed he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. But because he caught it just in time it was treatable and he has fully recovered.

Make no mistake, prostate cancer is a killer - every hour a man somewhere dies from it. No other cancer kills more men, yet there is no screening programme in the UK because the test cannot differentiate between aggressive cancer, which is treated, and slow cancer, which is not. So the argument against it is that some men, with positive results, suffer from anxiety unnecessarily. Screening is part of an 'informed choice programme' but presently just one in sixteen men opt for screening. So, in order to raise awareness about the availability of screening so that more men can make an informed choice, Simon sailed round Britain single-handed in his 24 foot Cornish Crabber, Equinox, and you can read his blog here. The Daily Mail have also featured the story here.

If you're a male over 45 (or married to one), then please consider asking your family GP to arrange a free PSA test soon. But first read up about the anxiety that the results might cause so that you are properly prepared for when the initial results come back.

If you want to make a PayPal or credit card donation to Prostate Cancer UK, you can do so via my NEW SPONSORSHIP PAGE with VirginMoney Giving. It's only just gone live. But nothing would please me even more than to know that as a result of reading this, more men have decided to have a PSA test. I've already had mine, twice!

Take care... and that's not just a cliché.

(And remember to grow a moustache for sponsorship every November!)