Prostate cancer is currently the most common cancer in men the UK, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year and around 11,000 deaths.
Coinciding with the news of NHS England’s new pilot scheme, was the headline-hitting disclosure by Stephen Fry of his own battle with prostate cancer. Currently undergoing treatment for the disease, he credited the early detection with preventing the spread of the disease.
What is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate gland is located between the penis and bladder, which produces a fluid that forms part of the body’s semen supply. The vast majority of prostate cancer cases arise in men over the age of 50, and most men with early prostate cancer do not have any signs/symptoms.
Symptoms tend to arise once the cancer has grown and places pressure on the urethra. When symptoms do arise they include:
- The need to urinate more frequently, often during the night
- Urinary urgency
- Difficulty in starting urination
- Straining or taking a long time while urinating
- Weak urinary flow
- A feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
Signs that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss.