One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. About 78 percent of those diagnosed will survive for 10 or more years, but your chances of survival largely depend on how early you get diagnosed. There are no obvious symptoms of the disease but you should look out for certain urinary symptoms. If you have any of the following seven symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about prostate-specific antigen screening.
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 100 percent of people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more.
Prostate cancer survival is improving and has tripled in the last 40 years in the UK, probably because of PSA testing.
The problem is, prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms in its early stages so men often don’t get tested and diagnosed early enough to improve their chances of survival.
This is because prostate cancer normally starts to grow in the outer part of the prostate where it will not press on the urethra.
You won’t be able to detect it until prostate cancer has advanced and grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra.
The urethra carries urine from the bladder out of the penis so cancer growing here will change the way you urinate.
If you notice changes in the way you urinate, it’s more likely to be an enlarged prostate than prostate cancer but it’s still important to get your symptoms checked out.
Lots of men experience these mild symptoms over many years and don’t do anything about them, but it’s vital that you seek medical advice and testing.
Although it’s essential to see your GP, don’t panic too much. All of these symptoms could be caused by non-cancerous health problems.
Even if it isn’t cancer, your GP can help you to find out what is causing your symptoms.
Since prostate cancer doesn’t have any obvious symptoms (and if you do have symptoms, they could be caused by something else), it’s impossible to know if you have prostate cancer without getting tested.
You can’t check for prostate cancer yourself, so you must visit your GP to discuss the pros and cons of the various tests you can do.
The GP will probably ask you for a urine sample and a blood sample (a PSA test) and they may examine your prostate by inserting a gloved finger into your bottom.
If you have a raised PSA level, you may be referred for an MRI scan and then potentially a biopsy to diagnose the cancer.