Advice about the prostate - should you be concerned?

Early detection is key

Prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. Mr Christopher Blick, consultant urologist at The Princess Grace Hospital, explains the importance of early detection, identifies some of the risk factors you should be aware of, and what you can do to lower your risk.

The number of prostate cancer diagnoses are increasing in the UK – in part due to celebrities such as singer Rod Stewart and BBC presenter Bill Turnbull speaking about their own experiences with the condition, in turn increasing awareness. 

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, in certain places in the UK there has been more than a 40 per cent reduction in referrals for suspected cancers. It’s critical this pandemic doesn’t hinder the number of men coming forward to see their GP if they are concerned about symptoms. Overall, 78 per cent of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer will be alive 10 years after their diagnosis – this figure jumps to more than 95 per cent if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage. It’s incredibly important men go for regular check-ups with their GP. 

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage will have very few symptoms. The symptoms which are commonly associated with prostate cancer include:–

  • reduced urinary flow
  • frequently getting up during the night to pass urine
  • a feeling that you haven’t emptied your bladder fully after urinating.

These could also be associated with a non-cancerous prostate condition such as benign prostate enlargement

If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, it’s still good to get it checked by your GP.

What can put you at a higher risk of prostate cancer?

There are certain things that mean that you’re more likely to get prostate cancer – these are sometimes referred to as prostate cancer risk factors. These are:

•  age – if you’re aged 50 or older
  family history – if your father or your brother has had prostate cancer 
  ethnicity – one in four black men will develop prostate cancer, compared with one in eight men of the general population
  body weight – obesity may increase your risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

If you have any of these risk factors, or have any concerning symptoms, speak to your GP. 

Is prostate cancer hereditary?

Hereditary prostate cancer is relatively rare. While having a family history of prostate cancer does increase your risk, it doesn’t mean you will develop it. If you’re worried about your risk, you should speak to your GP.

How can you lower your risk of prostate cancer?

Like many health conditions ensuring you have a healthy body weight, exercising frequently and have a well-balanced diet is crucial – especially as being overweight can increase your risk.

Speak to your GP if you’re concerned

It’s incredibly important that if you’re concerned about any symptoms that you speak to your GP. Our private GPs are able to offer remote phone and video consultations during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond it, where you can talk through your symptoms as you would usually. 

There are lots of other conditions that can affect your prostate besides prostate cancer – but it’s important to speak to your GP so that they can rule it out. It might be that you have a benign enlarged prostate – a condition which is easily treatable.

Your GP will be able to offer you the most clinically appropriate advice, and, should you need to visit one of our clinics to see a doctor in person or to undergo tests, we have put a number of strict safety measures in place to make our environments as safe as possible. 

To book an appointment with one of our private HCA UK GPs call: 020 3993 9784 or visit the website. 
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