A LIFE-SAVING event experienced unprecedented success after more than 2,000 men turned up to have a quick and easy prostate check.

The Lions Club of Reading ran out of testing kits after an avalanche of guests arrived at Circle Hospital on Saturday.

The sixth annual event saw 2,300 men get tested, a significant rise on last year's record of 1,500, while some men were waiting outside the hospital an hour before the doors opened.

A long queue of visitors waited outside for the Prostate Cancer Awareness event and the hospital was at capacity throughout the day, with many men having to be turned away.

Event organiser John Mack said: "Over 1,000 men had registered within the first two hours from opening, which is twice the attendance in that time compared with last year.

"After five hours of testing it became obvious that the equipment was not going to be enough.

"We did our very best to rectify this. However, trying to source more on a Saturday was obviously not an easy task.

"We were not helped by the fact that nationally there is a shortage of collecting tubes. We understand we were incredibly fortunate to get as many as we did in the first place."

More than 4,000 people were checked in the first five years and nearly 100 of those were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

All of the men who took part this year will receive a letter with a green, yellow or red message to say they have the all clear, or require further assessment.

Mr Mack added: "We are already discussing how we can manage the event better next year. There is obviously a growing need among the men of Reading for this.

"We are desperately sorry that in the end we had to turn men away on the day. We just could not accommodate more than 2,200. If we had sufficient kits, we would have reached a figure of 3,000 by the specified closing time."

Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK, with 31 deaths a day.

There are often no symptoms for the disease and men can live with prostate cancer for years without being diagnosed.

Dr Stephen Allen said: "The positivity that must come from this is that men of Reading are beginning to become responsible for their own health.

"In the past women were not afraid to rattle a few cages when they became involved with promoting better care for breast cancer and cervical cancer.

"Arguably, the attitudes concerning prostate cancer are way behind in comparison. Men are just beginning to do the same."