Prostate cancer awareness - recognise the symptoms

One in eight men will get prostate cancer. So why aren’t we talking about it? Early diagnosis is important, so here are some changes to look out for.

Go with the flow

If you are urinating more often than usual (particularly at night), struggle to get going, take a long time to finish, have a weak flow or feel you’re not emptying your bladder, ask to see your GP.

Other signs

These include needing to rush to the toilet, leaking before you get there or dribbling urine after you finish. Any pain when urinating or ejaculating, or blood in your urine or semen, should be checked.

Cause and effect

Experiencing symptoms doesn’t automatically mean you have prostate cancer, says Ali Rooke, specialist nurse at Prostate Cancer UK.

“The symptoms may indicate there is a problem with the prostate, but this could be an enlarged prostate gland, prostatitis (an infection in the prostate) or it could signal that you have a urinary infection.”

Time well spent

Embarrassment or fear should not stop you from seeing your GP if you are worried about your risk or your symptoms.

“Those few minutes of discomfort with your GP could put years on your life,” says a 50-year-old father of two who was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago. “If it’s prostate cancer and it’s caught early, there’s every chance it can be successfully treated.”

Diagnosing prostate cancer

A simple blood test measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. A small amount of PSA in your blood is normal.
A raised level could indicate an issue, although not necessarily cancer.

Get checked

A prostate problem is often diagnosed using a digital rectum exam (DRE). Hard, bumpy areas on the prostate may suggest cancer, but someone with prostate cancer might have a prostate that feels normal.

Find out about the history of prostate cancer treatment and the developments which have been made.