Only men have a prostate. It is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum.
The prostate is often described as being the size of a walnut and it is normal for it to grow as men age. Sometimes this can cause problems, such as difficulty urinating. These problems are common in older men and not always symptoms or signs of cancer.
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.
Three facts about prostate cancer
- In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men
- More than 3,000 men die of prostate cancer in Australia every year
- More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.
What are some symptoms of prostate cancer?
In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. In the later stages, some symptoms of prostate cancer might include:
- Feeling the frequent or sudden need to urinate
- Finding it difficult to urinate (for example, trouble starting or not being able to urinate when the feeling is there or poor urine flow)
- Discomfort when urinating
- Finding blood in urine or semen
- Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.
These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you do experience any of them, please see your doctor at PVH Medical.
What are the risk factors?
Factors that are most strongly linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer are:
- Age – the chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you grow older
- Family history – you have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer if you have a first degree male relative with this cancer.
Other factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer include genetics, diet and lifestyle.
Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer
There is no evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, but they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:
- Diet – eat meals that are nutritious. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
- Physical activity/exercise – there is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.
If you’re male and over 50 – or over 40 if you have a family history – you’re encouraged to talk with your GP about prostate health.
Make an online booking with your friendly doctor in Pascoe Vale or call 9304 0500 today.
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.