DR CALLING: By Doctor Kevin Shields
s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month ends, its sponsors – Prostate Cancer UK – will continue the drive through its high profile Men United campaign because being aware is one of the best defences against the disease.
A major survey carried out by YouGov revealed that more than four in five men (83 per cent) at increased risk of prostate cancer do not grasp that their chance of developing the disease is higher than average, and three quarters (75 per cent) of men at greater risk admit that, even if they were aware but didn’t have any symptoms, they wouldn’t speak to their GP about it.
It means thousands of men may miss out on being diagnosed at an early stage, when treatment for the disease is most effective.
Men at increased risk of prostate cancer include men with a family history of the disease in a father or brother, men over the age of 50 and men of African-Caribbean and African descent.
The majority of early cases are symptomless and there is no national screening programme. As a result, awareness of risk and speaking to a health professional about it is a man’s chief defence against the disease.
So if you have concerns, particularly if you are in one of the increased risk groups, please go and talk to your GP.
For more information, visit Prostate Cancer UK online at www.prostatecanceruk.org and the Men United campaign at http://menunited.prostatecanceruk.org