Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: How Much You Know?

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: How Much You Know?

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: how much you know?

March 2016is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and amongst the many activities organised to help raise awareness of this specifically male cancer Check4Cancer are hostingProstate Cancer Awareness Webinaron 10th March 2016, 13.00-13.30.

But how much do you already know about your prostate?

The prostate is a small sex gland that assists in the production of semen. Normally about the size of a walnut, it sits just below the bladder and envelops the urethra, the tube that carries urine to the penis from the bladder. This is why many men suffer urination problems or sexual dysfunction if there is a problem with their prostate.

Over 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year, and 10,000 men each year die from the disease, making it the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men in the UK. Yet, at present, there is no national NHS screening programme for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is more common in men over the age of 50 and the most common occurrence is in men over the age of 70, but recently there has been a six-fold increase in men being diagnosed with the condition in men aged 40-59.

Risk factors

Family History– Having a close male relative i.e. brother, father, uncle who has had prostate cancer does lead to an increased risk of developing the condition. Research has also shown that having a close female relative who has developed breast cancer may also slightly increase risk. New information about genetic relationships is becoming available.

Diet & Lifestyle- A diet high in fat and calcium and low in fruit and vegetables is thought to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. There has also been recent research to suggest that obesity can increase the risk of developing the disease. Some research has shown that men who eat a diet rich in nutrients including lycopene (found in tomatoes and other red fruit) and selenium, most commonly found in Brazil nuts, may be at lower risk along with men who take regular exercise.

Ethnicity– Men from African or Afro-Caribbean descent are more likely to develop prostate cancer and for men of Asian and South and Central American descent the condition is found to be relatively rare.

Age– The strongest risk factor of prostate cancer is age with men under the age of 50 having a lower risk and men over the age of 50 having an increasing risk as they get older.


If the prostate has enlarged due to prostate cancer any symptoms that do occur can be similar to those resulting from a benign enlargement of the prostate (known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH) and can include:

  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
  • Blood in the urine (this is not common)
  • Difficulty in urinating (either hesitancy or straining during urinating)
  • Weak flow when urinating
  • A feeling like your bladder hasn’t emptied after urinating

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your GP immediately. As with all cancers, the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the more likely the treatment will be successful.