Prostate cancer is one of the most lethal cancers for men, killing 11,000 every year. It mainly attacks older men, 95% of all patients are between 45 and 80.
It is also on the increase, with dramatic rises each year. It is predicted that, in the future, prostate cancer will be the commonest cancer effecting at least 1 in 10 men at sometime in their lives.
Although we do not exactly know what causes prostate cancer, one theory associates it with the high fat, high meat, low-in-vegetable diet of Western culture. In the Far East, where less meat and many more vegetables are eaten, there is a much lower incidence of the disease.
If any of your close relatives have suffered from prostate cancer, you are at a greater risk of developing the disease.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a male sex gland which produces a thick fluid that forms part of the semen. It is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
What are the symptoms?
In its early stages, prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms. But, when they do occur, they may include any of the following problems:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Delays in urinating
- Stopping and starting urinating
- A weak stream of urine
- Urinating more often than usual
- Pain while urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back and hips
If you have any symptoms like these, it is vital that you see your doctor as soon as possible.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in young men between the ages of 24 and 35. But, as the disease also occurs in other age groups, all men should be aware of its symptoms.
The sooner it is diagnosed, the shorter the treatment and the better the chances of a complete recovery. Overall, the treatment success rate is very high and more than 90% of men can expect to be cured.
What are the symptoms?
- A lump in either testicle
- Any enlargement of a testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
If you have any of these symptoms, go and see your doctor.
What can you do to check yourself?
You should do a testicular self examination (TSE) regularly. Just follow our easy 5 step guide.
- 1) The place to perform a TSE is in a warm bath or shower. The heat relaxes the scrotal skin and makes it easier to feel any lumps underneath.
- 2) Support your scrotum in the palm of your hand and note the size and weight of your testicles.
- 3) Examine each testicle by rolling it between your fingers and thumb.
- 4) Press firmly but gently and feel for any lumps or swellings or changes in firmness. (Don't confuse the testicles with the epididymis, the sausage-shaped structure that lies along the top and back of each testicle. Any lumps found on the epididymis are more likely to be cysts and blockages which become more common as you get older.).
- 5) Whilst most lumps in the testicles are benign, any change in the size, shape or weight may mean that something is wrong.
Do not wait to see if the symptoms disappear. Go and see your doctor.