Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, accounting for a quarter of all male cancers.
Approximately 37,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, which is approximately 100 new cases per day. It affects mainly men in late middle age and old age. The outlook for a man with prostate cancer is good if the disease is caught early before it has spread.
Signs to look out for
- Poor urinary flow
- Passing urine frequently
- Having to reach the toilet in a hurry or at night
If you suffer with any of the symptoms above this may be a sign of prostate cancer, although in some cases the cancer may be present even if there are no urinary symptoms so it is very important to seek advice if you are worried about your health.
The first step is to book an appointment with your GP, they can then advise you if there’s anything that needs investigating. Most men with urinary symptoms will not have prostate cancer so it’s also important not to worry but to get checked out as soon as possible.
In the UK there is no national screening programme at present (under review at the Department of Health), it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle including fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat intake, less red meat more fish and white meat and avoiding obesity are thought to be of value in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
Treatments for prostate cancer
If you have noticed any difference in your urinary flow you should seek advice from your GP, they will then refer you to a urologist, who is a specialist in urinary system disorders.
If prostate cancer is confirmed, further tests are done to gauge the extent of the disease. The tests may include a MRI scan, CT scan or bone scan.
Where the decision is to treat the prostate cancer, there are various options when the disease is confined to the prostate. Such options include radical prostatectomy surgery to remove the prostate gland altogether.
For those men whose cancer has already spread by the time of diagnosis (metastatic cancer), the mainstay of treatment is hormonal. This is because testosterone fuels the growth of prostate cancer; therefore lowering it stops the cancer in its tracks.
To find out more information or if you have any questions, please call us on 0208 709 7817.
Professor Frank Chinegwundoh, consultant urological surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Spire Roding Hospital