Prostate cancer survival is improving and has tripled in the last 40 years in the UK, probably because of PSA* testing. When diagnosed at its earliest stage, all (100%) people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more. Prostate cancer is more common in older men aged 75 to 79 years. Although it is not clearly linked to any preventable risk factors, there is some evidence that being active might help to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. Try to keep a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
If you notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem. And if you do have symptoms they can be caused by other things. But it’s still a good idea to get it checked out. Possible changes include:
- difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- a sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet.
Some other symptoms, include:
- back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain
- problems getting or keeping an erection
- blood in the urine or semen
- unexplained weight loss.
These symptoms can all be caused by other health problems. But it’s still a good idea to tell your GP about any symptoms so they can find out what’s causing them and make sure you get the right treatment, if you need it.
Try not to be embarrassed. Doctors are used to discussing intimate problems and will try to put you at ease. If you’re not sure about what to say to your GP, print and fill out this form: Prostate Cancer GP Questions and show it to them. This will help you have the conversation.
* The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Your PSA levels can also be raised in prostate conditions that are not cancer (are benign) such as a urine infection.
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