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Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, surpassing breast cancer for the very first time.

A staggering 129 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day. Prostate Cancer UK states one reason for the rise in diagnosis can be linked to the awareness raised by Stephen Fry and Bill Turnball speaking out about their experience with prostate cancer, which has resulted in more men getting tested.

Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms, which is why it’s important to know your risk. Below is some helpful information to know about prostate cancer, who is at higher risk and the symptoms. Remember, if you are worried or show signs of prostate cancer, please call your GP.

What is prostate cancer?

Simply put, prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland. Abnormal cells start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way and those cells can grow into surrounding tissues or organs and may spread to other areas of the body.

Who is at higher risk?

There are multiple factors that could put you in a higher risk category for prostate cancer, they are:

Age – The strongest risk factor. Risk increases as you get older and data indicates that half of all men diagnosed in the UK are aged 70 and older.

Ethnicity – Black men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer and may get it at a younger age. The reasons for this are not clear, but it mate be due to genetic factors.

Family History – If close family members have been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer

Health & Diet – Carrying excess weight and eating a diet high in animal fat

Even if you do not fall into these risk categories you could still develop prostate cancer, these just put you at a higher risk.

One in eight males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to Cancer Research UK. As the world is returning to normal, it’s important that you know how to check for signs of the disease and if you have concerns to visit your GP.

What are the symptoms?

–  Having to wee more often, particularly at night

–  Hesitancy in passing urine and a weak flow which can take longer than normal. You may feel as though your bladder has not emptied

–  In some cases small amounts of blood mat be seen in the urine

If you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer you should visit your GP, who will discuss the pros and cons of various tests with you to try to avoid unnecessary anxiety. They are likely to ask for a urine sample to check for infection, take blood a sample to test the level if prostate-specific antigen (PSA Testing) and examine your prostate. If your doctor feels you require further treatment they will refer you to a specialist.

When John was diagnosed with prostate cancer he felt like the loneliest person in the world, but with the help of The Nightingale and our services, he’s now planning for the future. Read his story here.