Sexual & General Health
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. Every year 32,000 men are diagnosed with the disease and 10,000 men die - that's one man every hour.
Where is the prostate gland? - The prostate is the shape and size of a walnut and sits underneath the bladder. It surrounds the tube that men pee through (the urethra) which is why, if something goes wrong, it can cause problems with the waterworks.
What does the prostate do? - The prostate gland is crucial to a man's sexual function. It makes and secretes one of the five major fluids that make up semen.
What are the symptoms? - The following symptoms may be a sign of a prostate problem, but many men with early prostate cancer will not have any symptoms at all. These symptoms can be caused by other non-cancerous problems so it's important to visit your GP to find out what is wrong.
- Peeing more often, especially at night
- Difficulty starting or taking a long time to finish
- Feeling the bladder hasn't emptied properly
Who is at risk? - Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer are aged over 50. The risk increases if there is a history of diagnosis in the family or if the man is of African or African Caribbean background. Men may be able to reduce their risk by eating less animal fat, eating more fruit and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Where can I go to find out more? - Your first port of call should be to speak to your GP or alternatively contact The Prostate Cancer Charity who can send free information about prostate cancer and other prostate problems. Their confidential Helpline is staffed by specialist nurses. Call 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostate-cancer.org.uk.
M Castle-Woodhams - March 2007