Doctor Calling by Dr Miles Langdon of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group
March is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and we have been encouraging Lincolnshire men to build their understanding and awareness of the disease and its symptoms.
Prostate cancer claims the life of one man every hour in the UK.
That means that the disease is killing more than 10,000 men a year.
The prostate is usually the size and shape of a walnut. It lies underneath the bladder and surrounds the tube (the urethra) that men pass urine and semen through.
Prostate cancer can grow slowly or very quickly. Most prostate cancer is slow-growing to start with and may never cause any problems or symptoms in a man’s lifetime.
However, some men will have cancer that is more aggressive or ‘high risk.’ This needs treatment to help prevent or delay it spreading outside the prostate gland.
Symptoms to look out for include urinating more frequently than usual (for example more than every two hours) or a feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly.
If you would like more information on the symptoms associated with Prostate Cancer visit www.prostatecanceruk.org
There is a blood test available which is useful for your GP, in combination with talking to your GP, assessment of your symptoms and examination. Patients can access the information they need to make their own decision about the PSA test by visiting sdm.rightcare.nhs.uk/pda/prostate-cancer
There are things that may increase your risk of having prostate cancer, these include age- prostate cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50 and your risk increases with age.
Family history and genetics, you are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed with it, compared with a man who has no affected relatives.
Ethnicity, black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other ethnic backgrounds.
Treatment depends on whether the cancer is contained in the prostate gland or has spread but options include radiotherapy, hormone therapy, ultrasound treatment and chemotherapy.
Although no-one knows how to prevent prostate cancer, diet and lifestyle may be important in preventing the disease. Therefore, it’s essential for men to exercise vigorously for half an hour at least three times a week, and eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.