Tracey Leaburn on the importance of PSA testing


Charlton will host their annual PSA testing day at The Valley ahead of the men's first-team's fixture against Portsmouth on Saturday, February 24th.

The club began PSA testing on a matchday in 2018. The initiative was started and has been driven by Head of Men’s First-Team Player Care Tracey Leaburn. Click here to donate to the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal.

The test measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood to help diagnose prostate problems. Early diagnosis is crucial, but symptoms do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the urethra.

In total, 95 men have received either red or amber results since Charlton began matchday PSA tests.

Ahead of this year's PSA testing, Valley Review spoke to Tracey Leaburn to find out more...

Why is this initiative so important to you?

Because of my family history. My grandfather had prostate cancer, although he died of something
else. Then my father passed away because of it 12 years ago.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in males in the UK. The key is catching it early. It’s a simple blood test and you get the results within 24 hours to say you’re fine or there could be an issue, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, but there could be something that needs to be checked out.

That’s why getting the test is so important. You can have prostate cancer without having any symptoms. By the time you get the symptoms it’s already spread. In doing these tests, we can help men prolong their lives.

You’ve seen first-hand the suffering that your dad had to go through with prostate cancer. That’s something you want other families to avoid, isn’t it?

I’ll never forget what my dad went through. Towards the end, it was horrific. He should still be here now. He was only 71 and it left a big void in our family. Early diagnosis is so crucial.

The club have saved a lot of lives in the last seven years, which is pretty incredible isn’t it?

It’s unbelievable. I’ve received so many emails from different people. One last year was from a lady thanking us for saving her husband’s life. He was the glue that held their family together and for them to potentially not have him anymore was unthinkable.

I had a gentleman come up to me at The Valley to say the test had also saved his life. I’ve heard so many stories from people saying they had no symptoms, but the test showed there was an issue and helped them get early diagnosis.

Another lady said her husband was inspired to get checked out by our campaign and found he had a particularly aggressive form of cancer. If he hadn’t been diagnosed early, his cancer would be too far progressed.

A father and son had no symptoms but were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Because it was found early, they have both had successful treatment.

How exactly does the test work?

It’s a simple blood test that takes two minutes. Fans book an appointment and then report to the West Stand at The Valley. They get notified of their results the next day via email.

For anyone who’s undecided about taking the test, or thinks something like this won’t happen to them, it could. Is it worth risking your life?

Each test costs £30 and although fans are asked to donate £15 there is a shortfall of £15 per person. In the past, you’ve raised money for the testing by cycling to Amsterdam, climbing The O2 and taking part in an I'm A Celebrity-style eating challenge. What do you have planned for this year?

We’re still deciding. We need to raise money to subsidise the difference in the cost of the test, so any donations are greatly appreciated. Last year we raised £10,000. It will be hard to trump last year’s eating challenge, which was hilarious. I found a butcher in Leeds who gave us a pig’s anus and a pig’s brain! We’re rattling a few ideas around for this year’s event so watch this space.


PSA testing will take place from 12-3pm at The Valley on the day of the Portsmouth game. A minimum £15 donation is requested. Click here to book your test now.

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