Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in males with 119 men diagnosed every day in the United Kingdom. This month is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month aiming to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms to look out for.
The disease can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. It often grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. But some men have prostate cancer that is more likely to spread meaning treatment is needed to stop it spreading outside the prostate.
Here at Heart of England, we have one of the largest urological cancer services in England and our Cancer Services team are helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer in Birmingham. Mr Vivek Wadhwa, consultant urological surgeon, said: “Each year approximately 795 men in Birmingham are diagnosed with prostate cancer and three quarters of those will be aged over 65. Being aware of the signs and symptoms is vital, especially if you are in that age category.
“We want to encourage men across Birmingham to talk to their GP if they have any concerns. Men are often put off by going to the doctor because they don’t want to make a fuss or don’t want to take time off work. The key to the best outcome is early diagnosis and treatment so I would urge anyone exhibiting symptoms of cancer to go and get checked by their doctor.
“The most common symptoms of prostate cancer include having to rush to the toilet to pass urine, difficulty in passing urine and passing urine more often than usual, especially at night. These symptoms are also common when men have an enlarged prostate, which can occur as men get older and can be nothing to do with prostate cancer.
“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s worth discussing this with your GP. If there are any concerns, your GP can arrange appropriate tests as necessary. If there are no concerns then your GP may be able to suggest treatments that may help your urinary symptoms, so it’s worth the visit.
“It’s worth acknowledging that for some men there are no symptoms at all. For some the first noticeable symptoms are pain in the back, hips or pelvis. These symptoms could be caused by other problems such as general aches and pains or arthritis, but it is still a good idea to get them checked out by a GP.”
Cancer is the toughest fight many people will ever face, and the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder. You don’t have to go through it alone. If you have any worries or questions about prostate cancer, visit the Prostate Cancer UK website at www.prostatecanceruk.org.