This month, Heartlands Hospital’s Dr Dyer talks about prostate cancer
What exactly is the prostate? Found only in men, the prostate is a small gland in the pelvis between the penis and the bladder which surrounds the urethra – the small tube that carries urine from the bladder.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men, with mortality rates rising by 26 per cent in the West Midlands over the last 25 years. It is thought that a reason for the increase rates of prostate cancer in the UK is because of the ageing population – most cases develop in men over the age of 65.
However, there are many cases of younger men suffering from prostate cancer in the UK also. What is most worrying about prostate cancer is that you can have it and feel no symptoms until the cancer has fully developed. With it being one of the slowest progressing cancers, it can take up to 15 years before any signs show. Screening for prostate cancer is available and highly recommended, as if caught early enough, effective treatment can be given.
Once the cancer has progressed it can cause an obstruction to the urethra. Symptoms may include a sudden need to urinate, having an irregular or weak flow of urine and occasionally having blood in the urine. However, these signs can mean that the cancer has reached threatening stage where treatment such as radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy will need to be used. Treatment can be intensive and can have unpleasant side effects.
It is extremely important for men of all ages to take the time to have regular checks; even if there have been no noticeable symptoms. You can be tested through your GP or local hospital.
If you would like to be tested for prostate cancer please contact your GP or local Hospital. For more information please visit www.nhs.uk