Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, which makes recognising symptoms of the disease incredibly important. This type of cancer usually develops slowly so there may be no signs for many years.
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Symptoms don’t usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis known as the urethra.
There’s currently no cure for cancer, but spotting symptoms as early as possible can ensure treatment is more successful and a greater chance of survival.
One of the symptoms of prostate cancer to look out could be mistaken for something less serious, and it involves what time of day you’re going for a pee.
According to Cancer Research UK, getting up during the night to empty your bladder can be a sign of prostate cancer, referred to as nocturia.
This is because the cancer can press on or weaken the bladder and the urethra.
Other symptoms of prostate can affect how a person pees. These include:
- Passing urine more often
- Having difficulty passing urine – for example having a weaker flow, not emptying your bladder completely, and straining when starting to empty your bladder
- Urgency to pee
- Blood or semen in your urine
It’s important to note these symptoms don’t mean you have prostate cancer, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
They could be caused by less serious conditions, such as prostate enlargement.
Nocturia can also be caused by drinking too much fluid before bedtime.
Treatment for prostate cancer
There are a number of ways to treat prostate cancer, according to Bupa, and a team of specialists will determine the best treatment for someone diagnosed with he disease.
The health organisation explains: “The treatment the team recommends will be based on established guidelines, your health and whether the cancer has spread or not. They will also take into account your age, any other health conditions you have and your wishes.
“They may recommend more than one type of treatment. Often, younger men with localised disease have surgery, while older men may have non-surgical treatments; but this does vary.
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“Your PSA level and Gleason score help your doctor to plan treatment. The Gleason score is a grading system for cancer cells that predicts how quickly your tumour might grow and spread.
“Your doctor can work it out from the results of the biopsy.”
How to test for prostate cancer
There’s currently no screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK, because it’s not been proved the benefits would outweigh the risks.
But the PSA test can help find aggressive prostate cancer that needs treatment.
The NHS adds: “The PSA test can also find slow-growing cancer that may never cause symptoms or shorten life.”
Instead of a national screening programme, there is an informed choice programmed called prostate cancer risk management for healthy men aged 50 or over who ask their doctor about PSA testing.
The NHS explains: “It aims to give men good information on the pros and cons of a PSA test.
“If you’re a man aged 50 or over and decide to have your PSA levels tested after talking to your GP, they can arrange for it to be carried out free on the NHS.
“If results show you have a raised level of PSA, your GP may suggest further tests.”
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