Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. 1 in 8 men will develop cancer in their lifetime.
It predominantly affects men over the age of 50 and AGE is one of the biggest risk factors, however the risk becomes higher for those with a family history of prostate cancer.
As a GP, I find that men are often reluctant to see their doctor about a change in the ‘waterworks’, putting it down to ‘just getting older’. The symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to those of a benign, non- cancerous growth of the prostate and therefore it is important that if there are any new symptoms (as below) that you visit the GP.
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Passing urine more frequently than normal
- A sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Bone pain
- Losing weight without trying
- Erectile dysfunction
The assessing doctor will do THREE things to assess your risk:
- Ask about the above symptoms
- Examine your prostate- this involves the doctor feeling the prostate gland via the back -passage with their finger. This is a quick, painless procedure and takes less than a minute
- Arrange a PSA blood test (prostate cancer blood test)
If you have a strong family history of prostate cancer or notice any of the above symptoms in you/your father/grandfather, please see a doctor about this.