March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and very few realise that one in eight UK men will get it in their lifetime.
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Most prostate cancer grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But some men have prostate cancer that is more aggressive. This needs treatment to prevent or delay it spreading outside the prostate gland.
Most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. But some men have some of the symptoms listed below:
• 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
• 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
• blood in your urine or semen.
Other possible symptoms of prostate cancer include pain in your back, hips or pelvis that was not there before. These other symptoms could be caused by general aches and pains or other conditions like arthritis. It is still a good idea to get them checked out by your GP.
Only men can get prostate cancer.
There are things that may affect your risk of getting prostate cancer.
Age: Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age.
Ethnicity: In the UK, about 1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
Family: You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed with it, compared with a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.
Lifestyle: No one knows how to prevent prostate cancer yet, but diet and a healthy lifestyle may be important in protecting against the disease.
The above information was taken from Prostate Cancer UK's website. For more information, visit your GP or contact them on 0800 074 8383. Alternatively visit prostatecanceruk.org