Most of us are now familiar with the renaming of the penultimate month of the year, ‘Movember’. Men around the world grow a moustache in support of the annual event to raise funds for different charities that focus on men’s health issues. These include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Prostate Cancer UK is the main beneficiary of the campaign. The most common cancer in men, prostate cancer affects 52,000 men in the UK every year, and one in eight men has a diagnosis in their lifetime.
The early signs of prostate cancer can be difficult to spot. But if you know your risk, you can start having regular checks to catch it early and start treatment that will give you a greater chance of survival.
Your risk of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer often causes no symptoms at all. It can grow so slowly that it does not impede on a man’s quality of life – and might never need treatment. But sometimes it is quick growing, and is likely to spread to other parts of the body. So, it is important to know your risk factors. The following can put you at higher risk:
- Aged over 50
- Your race and ethnicity
- Having close male family members that have had prostate cancer
Certain lifestyle factors can also make you more susceptible. These include diet, obesity, and smoking.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
If the cancer grows close to the tube that you urinate through (your urethra) and presses it, then you might experience changes in the way you urinate. However, this is often caused by an enlarged prostate, which is a much more common men’s health issue.
Other symptoms might include:
- Difficulty urinating
- A weak flow when urinating
- Feeling that you haven’t emptied your bladder
- Urinating more frequently or more urgently
- Loss in weight
- Blood in urine or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Back pain, hip pain or pelvic pain
Not sure? Book a Male Health Check
The only way to get a confirmed diagnosis is by visiting your doctor. If you are at higher risk, a regular health check will give you peace of mind, especially if you already have a niggling concern. Furthermore, catching it early will open up more treatment options.
At Wessex Private GP, your health check will be carried out by a doctor that specialises in men’s health and will include a comprehensive range of tests – a full MOT if you like. It can include screening for prostate cancer as well as colon cancer, another cancer which is also difficult to detect in the early stages.
You can choose tests for your cholesterol, liver, kidneys, glucose levels, a full blood count-checking for anaemia, calcium, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and any other tumour markers. We will also screen your cardiovascular performance.
Choosing a male health check will help you to catch prostate cancer early, but also rule out many other common male health concerns. To arrange your male medical, book online with Wessex Private GP.