In the wake of prostate cancer claiming our esteemed member Bill Laws, Belgrave are keen to support and promote the great research and work done by Prostate Cancer UK.
For those wishing to learn more about this disease, here is some information:
About the prostate
What is the prostate?
Only men have a prostate gland.
It is about the size of a walnut and tends to get larger as men get older.
Its main function is to help make semen.
The prostate is underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that men pass urine through).
Key statistics (UK)
- More than 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year – that’s one man every 45 minutes. It’s the third biggest cancer killer
- It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, with over 400,000 living with and after the disease
- Prostate cancer is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer of all in the UK by 2030
Only men can get prostate cancer and the risk factors associated with it are:
• Age: Men over the age of 50 are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer
• Family: you are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it.
• Ethnicity: Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other ethnic backgrounds. In the UK, about 1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. The reasons for this are not yet clear but might be linked to genetics.
• Body weight: Research shows that being overweight or obese increases your risk of getting cancer that’s more likely to spread (called aggressive) or advanced prostate cancer (cancer that has spread outside the prostate
Anyone with concerns about their risk of prostate cancer should discuss them with their GP.
Many men with prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they can be similar to non-cancerous prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlargement).
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Needing to urinate more often, especially at night – for example if you often need to go again after two hours
- Difficulty starting to pass urine
- Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating
- A weak flow of urine
- A feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
- Needing to rush to the toilet – you may occasionally leak urine before you get there
- Dribbling urine
- Getting up in the night more often
Less common symptoms of a prostate problem include:
- Pain when passing urine
- 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 the urine or semen
All of these can be due to non-cancerous conditions but if you have any of the symptoms above don’t ignore them and have a chat with your GP who can investigate further.
- Anyone with concerns about a prostate problem or prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Wed 10am-8pm)
- Live Chat online (Mon to Fri 9am-4pm, Wed 10am-8pm)
- Text NURSE to 70004 to ask for a callback
- Visit prostatecanceruk.org/nurses
The PSA test
- The PSA blood test is the first step to diagnosing the disease and you can request the test from your GP if you are over the age of 50.
- If you’re over 45 and have a higher risk of prostate cancer, for example if you’re black or you have a family history of it, you might want to talk to your GP about having a PSA test.
- The PSA test isn’t 100% accurate and can give ‘false positive’ and ‘false negative’ results and so it’s important to talk through the pros and cons of having the test with your doctor first.
Prostate cancer research is historically underfunded leaving us with lots of questions we don’t know the answers to. Prostate Cancer UK is committed to funding research to answer those questions, which is the only way men will be diagnosed early and survive longer. We can only do this with significant funding.