This Morning: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses prostate cancer symptoms
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There are a number of signs to be aware of. Having these symptoms does not mean you have prostate cancer, but means you should go and see your GP. Dr Philippa said: “It’s really important that you know what those symptoms are, but also whether or not you are somebody that might be at an increased risk of developing it.”
The GP explained: “The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is a gland that sits surrounding your urethra, which is the tube which carries urine from the bladder out”.
She said when it gets bigger this is when some of the symptoms can begin.
She said: “The first kind of symptoms that people get might be that they go to the toilet more often.” This may include going to the toilet a lot in the night, or “the flow” not being as good as when you were younger.
She added most men when they are young can pee with a fast hard flow, “and then as you get older that stream becomes less”.
The doctor said you might also find that it takes “a while to get going” so it is a “strain” to start. She explained this is called hesitancy.
You may also find “that you are not exactly quite sure when it is ending” and there is some dribbling at the end.
Other signs include having blood in your urine, or blood in semen. Dr Philippa said you might also get some pelvic or back pain “if things have spread”.
She added it is difficult to say when you have a particular symptom you have definitely got prostate cancer, but it means you need to get checked.
This is why it is also important to be aware of your risk. Dr Philippa said: “Your risk is higher if you are older. Prostate cancer is extremely uncommon in people under 50.”
She added “it is two and a half times more common if your father was affected,” so if you have a family history be especially aware of signs.
There is also an increased risk in black men. The doctor said one in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, and in the UK it is one in eight in men in general.
She said “we’re not exactly sure why there is an increased risk in black men” but suggested people be aware of signs and symptoms to catch any that arise in the early stages.
Prostate Cancer UK says: “Prostate cancer is not always life-threatening. But when it is, the earlier you catch it the more likely it is to be cured.”
The charity says your GP might also suggest having tests if you have symptoms of a prostate problem.
It says there is no single test to diagnose prostate cancer., though there are a few tests that your GP can do to find out if you have a prostate problem.
The main tests include:
- A urine test to rule out a urine infection
- A prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test
- A digital rectal examination (DRE).
Cancer Research UK says advanced prostate cancer means that a cancer that began in the prostate has spread to another part of the body.
The symptoms of advanced prostate cancer depend on where the cancer has spread to.
It explains: “The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs and other organs.”
It adds: “The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the bone is bone pain. It is usually there most of the time and can wake you up at night. The pain can be a dull ache or stabbing pain.”
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