2nd January 2020
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, but it does have good survival rates, particularly if it is caught early.
The development of cancer in the prostate, called prostate cancer, is the most common cancer in men in the UK. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system between the bladder and the penis, and cancer of the prostate can cause infertility and several other problems.
According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 47,700 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year. This is around 130 men diagnosed each day. Furthermore, it is estimated that incidence rates for prostate cancer will rise by 12% in the UK between 2014 and 2035.
While cancer can be incredibly frightening, is prostate cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage, figures have shown that all (100%) of these men will survive their disease for five years or more. However, if it is diagnosed at the latest stage, that figure drops to 49%. For this reason, it is important that treatment begins as quickly as possible.
Although prostate cancer can be caused by all other health problems, the main reason why it develops is still unclear. It begins where cells in the prostate gland undergo mutations in their DNA. These mutations lead to the cells growing and dividing at a more rapid pace than normal cells. These cells form into a tumour that can spread into nearby tissue. If the cancer remains undiagnosed and untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body as abnormal cells break off and metastasize.
There are certain risk factors that can increase the chance of prostate cancer developing:
- Age – incidence rates for prostate cancer in the UK are highest in men aged 75 to 79
- Obesity – research shows obesity is linked to cancer spreading, not just developing
- Smoking – this is a risk factor for many different types of cancer, not just those associated with the respiratory system. Smoking also increases the risk of prostate cancer spreading and a study has found prostate cancer patients who smoked are nearly twice as likely to die of their disease
- Family history – if you have a close relative who has had prostate cancer, then your risk of also having it may increase. This is because there are certain genes that are linked to causing prostate cancer
Given we know that prostate cancer survival is higher if it is diagnosed at an earlier stage, it is important to know what the symptoms are. However, early prostate cancer does not always have any symptoms. That is why these symptoms are important, as it may indicate that the cancer is growing.
Should you be experiencing any of these, we would recommend you see a doctor as soon as possible. It may well be that you don’t have prostate cancer but instead, it could be a less serious condition. However, you should not dismiss any of these symptoms and seek professional help as soon as possible:
- Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
- A desperate need to pee, seeing you have to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee even though you feel the need to
- Straining or needing to take a long time to pee
- Weak flow
- A feeling that your bladder is not completely empty
- Blood in your pee
- Blood in your semen
- Back pain, hip pain or pelvic pain
- Pain or burning while you pee
- Erectile dysfunction
- Painful ejaculation
- Loss of appetite or weight
To find out more about treatment options for prostate cancer, take a look at our Prostate Cancer page. From there you can also get in touch with a member of our team, whether you are concerned about a symptom or have already received a diagnosis. We can offer quick appointments so you can begin getting the medical help you need as soon as possible.
We are based in Essex and have patients across East Anglia, seeing them in our main locations of Colchester, Southend and Chelmsford.