Around 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives, so please read on to learn more about how to detect this condition…
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a gland unique to men and is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It sits behind the bladder and its main job is to help make semen.
What are the risk factors?
Most men who have early prostate cancer do not show any symptoms, so it is important to know the risk factors. You should talk to a GP about the risks if you are aged 50 or over or if your father or brother has had prostate cancer. For black men, it is important to speak to a GP if you are aged 45 or over even if you don’t have any symptoms – this is because, for unclear reasons, approximately 1 in 4 black men in the UK will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
For all men, it is also important to tell the GP if you have a mother or sister who has had breast cancer as this can also increase your risk of prostate cancer.
What else should I be aware of?
Although they may not necessarily be an indication of a prostate problem, it is important to speak to your GP if you have:
- A weak urine flow
- A need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Difficulty passing urine or a feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
- Dribbling urine after you finish urinating or before you get to the toilet
- Pain or blood when passing urine
What can the doctor do to check my prostate?
After discussing your risk factors and/or any possible symptoms, the doctor may offer you an examination and/or a blood test. The blood test would check for prostate specific antigens (PSA), a protein produced in the prostate whose levels typically increase as you get older and your prostate gets bigger. Your GP will discuss the pros and cons of having such a blood test and will give you the information you need to decide if you want to go ahead. A raised PSA level may indicate a prostate problem but not necessarily prostate cancer. If your results show a raised PSA level, our expert GPs will provide advice on the next steps.
If you have any of the risk factors above or any of the symptoms mentioned, it is a good idea to talk to your GP. At The Walcote Practice, our GPs are experienced in men’s health and can assist with any worries you may have. To book an appointment, please call us now on 01962 828175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org