Test yourself for prostate cancer today!
Almost 4 in 10 cancer cases in the UK could be prevented if British people changed their lifestyles by drinking less alcohol, keeping their weight down, ditching cigarettes and avoiding overdoing it on a sunbed, among other actions, research has revealed.
New figures from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) show that more than 2,500 cancer cases a week are avoidable, with exposure to tobacco smoke the leading factor, accounting for just over 15% of cancer cases.
“Lung cancer contributes well over half of those smoking-related cases, but there are also thousands of cancers of smoking-related bladder, oesophageal and bowel cancers every year to name just a few,” said Dr Katrina Brown, lead author of the study at CRUK
Prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer killer for men, after lung cancer. Over 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year, nearly 9,000 in England.
Prostata cancer symptoms can be hard to spot until the cancerous growth has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra. BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, who has revealed he has the disease, has stepped the importance of getting tested.
It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, according to the NHS, but a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- Age - risk rises as you get older and most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years of age.
- Ethnic group – prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent than in men of Asian descent.
- Family history – having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer under the age of 60 seems to increase the risk of you developing it. Research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Obesity – recent research suggests that there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer.
- Exercise – men who regularly exercise have also been found to be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer
- Diet – research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer. There is evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Because it develops slowly there may be no signs you have it for many years. The NHS lists the following:
- Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
- Straining or taking a long time while urinating
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
Whether to test healthy men with no symptoms for prostate cancer is controversial. Medical organisations don't agree on the issue of screening and whether it delivers benefits.
Some medical organisations recommend men consider prostate cancer screening in their 50s, or sooner for men who have risk factors for prostate cancer.
Discuss your particular situation and the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor. Together, you can decide whether prostate cancer screening is right and needed for you to make sure you stay healthy and to avoid risks of long treatment in the future.