WHY SHOULD MEN KNOW ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER?
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in UK men. Annual Prostate Cancer deaths in 2018 have exceeded those due to Breast Cancer for the first time ever. Around 47,000 UK men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and about 11,700 men die of Prostate Cancer every year. In 2018, annual Prostate Cancer deaths exceeded those of Breast Cancer for the first time.
Prostate Cancer does not always have any symptoms. And if symptoms do occur, then sometimes men put this down simply to growing old. Ignoring such symptoms can be a big mistake!
Black men are particularly at risk and also men over 45 where there has been family history of Prostate (or Breast) cancer. However, all men should be aware of the need to monitor their prostate health and to spot any early signs of prostate problems. Any worrying signs should be discussed with a GP. When doing so, note that any man aged 50 or over is entitled to ask his GP about the possibility of a blood test to measure his PSA level (* a PSA Test).
Early diagnosis is all-important. If Prostate Cancer is detected early, then there can be more treatment options and these are more likely to offer a better outcome. Early diagnosis tends to be an issue because, although treatments for Prostate Cancer are improving all the time, the NHS still do not have a 100% effective diagnostic test which could be used for routine screening.
To make men aware of these facts and of the Classic Signs of Prostate Cancer, we give talks at golf and Rotary clubs and Masonic Lodges, who often go on to ask us to hold a PSA testing session for their members. We also attend Health and Wellbeing Fairs to promote awareness, and have stands in stores and at local shows. We want men to take the time and effort to understand more about their prostate gland and to appreciate the risk associated with this organ as age increases.
* PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a protein produced by the Prostate Gland, a trace of which is normally present in men's bloodstream. An elevated level of PSA, usually reported in nanograms of PSA per millilitre of blood (ng/ml), can be the first indication of prostate problems such as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or enlarged prostate), Prostatitis (infection in the prostate) or of Prostate Cancer itself. When a man's PSA level is elevated, his GP can carry out and/or request further investigative tests if considered necessary.
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