12:03 Wednesday 06 February 2013

Checking for prostate cancer

Written byLeah Cassady

Prostate cancer! It may be embarrassing for some to talk about but it’s definitely for a good cause.

The disease kills 10,000 men every year, that's one man every hour, and around one in nine men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.

You may have seen the Slegehammer Fund adverts on TV, in which the comedian Bill Bailey talks about some uncomfortable truths. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the disease which is rising at an alarming rate, it is already the most common cancer in men but is predicted to become the most common cancer of all in the UK by 2030.

So, let’s get to the point and discuss the problem.

The three most common prostate problems are:

An enlarged prostate – this is the most common prostate problem

Prostatitis – an inflammation or infection in the prostate

Prostate cancer – when cells start to grow in an uncontrolled way

You are more likely to get prostate cancer if you are over 50 years old, and your risk increases with age.

You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if a close family member – father or brother – has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and you are also more at risk if your relative was under the age of 60 when they were diagnosed, or if more than one close relative has prostate cancer.

You are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer if you are of black Caribbean or black African descent than white men of the same age.

Symptoms caused by prostate problems include:

  • needing to go for a pee more often, especially at night – for example if you often need to go again after two hours
  • difficulty starting to urinate
  • straining or taking a long time to finish urinating
  • a weak flow when you urinate
  • a feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
  • needing to rush to the toilet – you may occasionally leak before you get there
  • dribbling urine

 

Less common symptoms include:

  • pain when urinating
  • blood in your urine or semen
  • pain when ejaculating
  • problems getting or keeping an erection - this is not a common symptom of a prostate problem and is more often caused by other health conditions

 

Remember, problems urinating will often be caused by a non-cancerous prostate problem such as enlarged prostate rather than cancer. It’s natural to feel worried or embarrassed about having tests and check-ups but you should not let that stop you going to your GP.

If you would like more information about prostate cancer or would like to donate, visit their website prostatecanceruk.org.

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