What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a reproductive gland about the size of a walnut only found in males. The prostate is located below the bladder. Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells within the prostate gland. These abnormal or malignant cells grow more rapidly than normal prostate cells.
These cells have the potential to break out from the prostate and spread to other parts of the body such as lymph nodes or the bones. When a cancer spreads to other parts of the body it is referred to as metastasis or a secondary tumour. When this occurs, cure is usually not possible.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men.
Each year almost 20,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and each year more than 3,300 men will die from the disease.
It is the most common visceral cancer in men – more than double lung and bowel cancer. Approximately 1 in 10 men will develop prostate cancer before they retire, and 1 in 6 men will develop it during their lifetime. Prostate cancer is more common and kills more people than breast cancer.
Early detection is the difference between life and death
Getting tested early and regularly can save your life.
When detected early, outcomes for prostate cancer are fantastic with a 5-year survival rate of >98%. Outcomes are dramatically reduced when detected late.
Getting tested early and often is the only way to ensure that you end up in the 98%.
In the early stages of prostate cancer, there may be no symptoms.
This makes the disease different from other urinary disorders such as bph (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or prostatitis (infection of the prostate) which may present with symptoms such as:
- Frequency of urination.
- Feeling of urgency to urinate.
- Difficulty in starting to urinate.
- Slow flow of urine and difficulty in stopping.
- A feeling of discomfort when urinating.
- Waking up at night to urinate.
- Pain in the perineal (the area between your anus and scrotum) or lower abdomen.