Over 42,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. In order to raise awareness of prostate cancer this month, we have put together some key facts on what you need to look out for.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of the cells in the prostate. Prostate cancer cells can spread from the prostate to other parts of the body forming secondary tumours commonly in the bones and lymph nodes.
What are the risk factors?
- Age: The older a man is, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Family History: A man with a family history of prostate cancer is more likely to develop the disease.
- Ethnicity: Black African and Afro- Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
Many cases of prostate cancer often progress without men noticing any symptoms. This is particularly concerning as the chance of survival is lower in those cases which are diagnosed at a later stage. Some men may experience symptoms relating to urinary function which can indicate prostate cancer. These symptoms include:
- More frequent urination, particularly at night.
- Having to rush to the toilet in order to urinate.
- Difficulty passing urine including straining or taking a long time urinating.
- Experiencing the feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly after urination.
Although these symptoms shouldn’t be ignored, they do not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer. They can be caused by a non-cancerous enlarged prostate known as a benign prostatic hyperplasia. When the prostate becomes enlarged it puts extra pressure on the urethra which blocks the flow of urine, this also causes similar symptoms. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is best to book an appointment with your GP to be on the safe side. Your GP will be able to perform tests and can refer you to see a specialist if necessary.
Why not sign up for Movember this month and grow your moustache throughout November to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer. You can find out more about Movember and sign up here.