WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer is cancer that is found in the prostate gland. This is a walnut-shaped gland found in men only, it plays a role in the reproduction process in men. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It is slow growing and is initially confined to the prostate gland where it might not cause any harm. However, there are some forms of the disease that can grow slowly which might mean that minimal treatment or no treatment at all is needed. However, there are aggressive forms of the disease that can spread quickly.
HOW IT’S DIAGNOSED
There is no single test for prostate cancer and so, your health specialist will discuss the tests required. Your doctor is likely to ask for a urine sample to test for an infection while a blood sample will be taken to test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). They will also carry out an examination of the prostate, which requires a finger being inserted into the anus. This is known as a digital rectal examination.
If your PSA levels are raised, then your doctor will refer you to a hospital for an MRI scan of the prostate. If a problem is detected, then a biopsy is likely as this will enable them to confirm or dismiss the diagnosis while also having the opportunity to assess how far it has progressed. There are several types of biopsies available.DONATE
In the early stages of the disease, it is common for men to experience no signs or symptoms. However, if the disease has progressed then it can cause a number of signs or symptoms such as:
- Problems urinating
- Lack of force in the urine stream
- Blood in the semen
- Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
WHERE TO FIND HELP
If you experience any of the signs or symptoms or you have any general concerns, then you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Your doctor or health specialist will be able to discuss the problem and diagnosis with you, while also helping to put your mind at ease.
It is important that you seek help as soon as possible as the earlier the disease is detected, the more likely you are to make a full recovery.
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