A Prostate Cancer Screening Program Can we live without it

By W Bro Frank Tiller SLGR. Image: W Bro Frank Tiller SLGR (left) & Consultant Urologist Mr Chris Booth MBBS FRICS welcoming attendees at our screening session in Aug ’20

As Freemasons, we are only too pleased and indeed, excited, about helping the wider world who are not Freemasons.

We do a great Job at raising money and
especially during the current pandemic
have given up our time to assist the

Are we good at looking after ourselves?
On the whole we are through various
masonic charities the elderly, the sick,
those that need financial support, are all
catered for. We even have Masonic homes
for those with dementia and provide
funding for occupational therapies and
appliances. What is missing? The unseen
and largely undetected silent killer in the
form of Prostate Cancer (PCA).

According to latest data (2017) available
from Cancer Research UK …

– Prostate cancer is the most commonly
diagnosed cancer in the UK.
– More than 47,500 men are diagnosed
with prostate cancer every year –
that is 129 men every day.
– Every 45 minutes one man dies from
prostate cancer – that is more than
11,500 men every year.
– 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with
prostate cancer in their lifetime.
– Around 400,000 men are living with
and after prostate cancer.

In early 2019, I was diagnosed with
Prostate Cancer and having got over the
initial shock of being told I had the disease,
and having MRI scans, a biopsy and
surgery to remove my prostate, I am
pleased to say I am in 100% remission.
It was during my recovery from surgery
that I had the notion that being a
Freemason and belonging to a fraternity,
there must be others who like me, are
walking around with prostate cancer and
do not even know it!

Having been introduced to CHAPS, The
Men’s Health Charity that specialises in
Prostate Cancer screening, I approached
the Metropolitan Grand Secretary with a
view to organising screening to
Metropolitan Grand Lodge members and
their male relatives and friends. I was so
pleased that this initiative was so well
received and on 25th June 2020 we held
the inaugural screening session under
COVID-19 Guidance.

At the time of writing, we have now
screened 438 chaps and approximately 9%
of attendees had a problem they did not
know about. Out of these, twenty-four
were in the red zone requiring them to
contact their GP immediately to have an
MRI scan. That is up to twenty-four lives
saved in just five Screenings. With no
National screening for Prostate Cancer
through the NHS,
we have an
opportunity to
create a national
Masonic Screening
program by rolling
it out across all 47
Provinces. I
understand that
sixteen Provinces
already offer PSA
screening for
prostate cancer. If
you are reading this
and you do not have
a screening program
nearby, I am willing
help and to talk to
Provincial Grand
Secretaries about how this can be
achieved. It could be the catalyst, over
time, to provide screening programs
more broadly.

Such initiatives will ensure that all those
screened are part of a long-term process
of regular PSA blood tests based on age,
ethnicity, and whether there is a family
history of prostate cancer in male relatives
and/or breast and ovarian cancer in female
relatives, all of which is taken into account.
The aim is to provide ongoing screening
and support as needed.



This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 43 January 2021 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 43.