Information Reviewed By: Dr Winston Goh
According to Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer for men, reporting approximately 52,300 cases every year between 2016 – 2018. It is estimated that 1 out of 8 men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and your risk increases the older you get.
If you have Prostate Cancer, you may experience uncontrollable growth of your prostate which can start affecting your bladder, your urination pattern, your hips and other areas around your pelvis.
As with any other cancer, the earlier you catch it, the better the chances are for recovery.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a gland that sits underneath your bladder. The main purpose of this gland is to make semen. People that have prostates are:
- Non-binary people who were assigned male at birth
- Some intersex people
While Prostate Cancer has a higher likelihood of affecting men, anyone with a prostate is at risk for Prostate Cancer despite the lower likelihood due to the difference in hormones.
What are the symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate Cancer is a very slow-growing cancer and does not show symptoms until it has grown large enough to create issues for the bladder and urination. It is estimated that around 475,000 men are living with Prostate Cancer in the UK.Urinary problems are a potential sign of Prostate Cancer. If you have the following issues, you should consult a doctor:
- You are experiencing difficulty in urinating or emptying your bladder
- Your urination has a weak flow
- You feel like your bladder hasn’t emptied properly after urinating
- You are experiencing dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- You feel like you need to urinate more often than usual, especially during the evening
- You are experiencing a sudden need to urinate — sometimes even not able to hold in your urine before you get to the toilet
- Your urine has blood in it
- You are feeling pain around your pelvis area
However, it is important to remember that many men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer while being symptomless.
Who is at risk of Prostate Cancer?
- People with a family history related to Prostate Cancer — including father or brothers
- People with a family history related to Breast Cancer — including mother or sisters
- People of African Caribbean descent
- People aged over 50 years old
- People considered obese or overweight
- People diagnosed with a BRCA2 gene mutation — your doctor will be able to confirm with a genetic check.
How do I know if I have Prostate Cancer?
While regular medical health checks often include a urine test and a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) blood test to cover the basis to detect Prostate Cancer, your doctor will likely order additional tests to verify if your PSA test shows an abnormality.
The first tests that your general practitioner will likely do include:
- Urine test
- PSA blood test
- Digital rectal examination (DRE)
If further tests are required, you might see a specialist that will do:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Prostate biopsy
- CT (computerised tomography) scan
- A bone scan (with or without X-rays)
What happens if I am diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
It is understandable to feel scared and worried if you are diagnosed, but it is important to remember that 8 in 10 men diagnosed with Prostate Cancer survive their disease for ten years or more.
Make sure to keep looking after yourself. Eating a healthy diet and continuing to look after your mental health will also help your recovery as you navigate this difficult period.
Your doctor will work to identify how advanced your cancer is and to develop a treatment plan. Make sure to discuss your treatment options with your doctor, discuss the potential side effects from them and how to manage them. This will help you and your doctor to decide what is the best option for you.
Most importantly, your doctor and the nurses will be open and available to listen to your concerns and help you put in touch with others that can help you if needed.
1. If you have prostate cancer. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/if-you-have-prostate-cancer.html
2. Introduction to tests. Prostate Cancer UK. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/prostate-tests/introduction-to-prostate-tests
3. Prostate cancer statistics. Cancer Research UK. (2022, May 31). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/prostate-cancer#heading-Two