Most likely you will only suspect you have prostate cancer when you experience an increased desire to urinate, straining or feeling like your bladder is not empty. However these signs are likely to be that of an enlarged prostate not cancer, as men’s prostates tend to enlarge with age.
Other symptoms of prostate cancer include:
Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
Needing to rush to the toilet
Difficulty in starting to urinate or pee (hesitancy)
Straining or taking a long time while urinating
Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
If you experience any of these symptoms you should see your GP, especially if you are over the age of 50. Signs that the cancer may have spread include bone and back pain, pain in testicles and weight loss.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increases with age and is most common in men over 50. Prostate cancer is also more common in men of Afro-Caribbean and African descent, and your risk increases if you have a close relative such as father or brother that has/had prostate cancer.
Exercise, diet and weight may also increase your risk so it’s advisable to eat a well-balanced diet coupled with frequent exercise, with limited alcohol intake.
There four stages of prostate cancer and chances of survival depend on what stage you’re at:
Stage 1 – the cancer is very small and completely within the prostate gland
Stage 2 – the cancer is within the prostate gland, but is larger
Stage 3 – the cancer has spread from the prostate and may have grown into the tubes that carry semen
Stage 4 – the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes or another part of the body, including the bladder, rectum or bones
Men who have stage 1 or 2 prostate cancer will have a 90% chance of living at least five years. Stage 3 is a 65-90% chance of living five or more years, and stage 4 means just a 30% chance. Unfortunately, most cases of prostate cancer are not diagnosed until stage 4.
Cancer Council Australia: Prostate cancer
Cancer Australia: Prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia: http://pcfa.org.au/
Written by Ruth Tongue