Two-Thirds Of Men Are Getting Early Prostate Cancer Symptoms Totally Wrong

In fact, 74% don't know what the prostate does.
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One in eight British men will experience prostate cancer, according to Prostate Cancer UK – and if you’re over 50, Black, or your dad or brother had it, you’re at even higher risk.

“Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 12,000 men every year,” the charity says.

Which makes the news that two-thirds of men do not know the symptoms of prostate cancer – or lack of them – pretty worrying.

What are men missing?

Prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.

But a survey of 2,000 adult men by Prostate Cancer UK found that only 35% realise that early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, The Times reported.

What’s more, 44% of men don’t know where their prostate is, and a whopping 74% don’t know what the prostate does.

“It’s especially concerning how many men believe they’ll see signs of early-stage prostate cancer and would avoid speaking to their GP if they didn’t have symptoms,” said Chiara De Biase from Prostate Cancer UK.

“We know that prostate cancer doesn’t usually have any symptoms at all until it’s already spread and become incurable.”

When the cancer is enlarged, symptoms can include:

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • needing to rush to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • blood in urine or blood in semen.

So what can you do to keep on top of it?

The survey found half of men wrongly believed they would be invited for testing without having to speak to their GP.

This isn’t actually the case as the NHS does not currently offer scheduled prostate exams.

Its website says that “instead of a national screening programme, there is an informed choice programme, called prostate cancer risk management, for healthy men aged 50 or over who ask their GP about PSA [prostate-specific antigen] testing”.

When you visit Prostate Cancer UK’s site, they ask if you have three risk factors:
being Black, being over 50, and having a father or brother who has had prostate cancer. There’s also a 30-second risk assessment test you can try here, too.

If you fit one or more of those criteria, or just want to check your PSA levels, then you can book an appointment with your GP.

If you then decide to have your PSA levels tested after talking to a GP, they can arrange for it to be carried out free on the NHS. And if you have a raised PSA level, you might then require further tests.