Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer affecting Irish Men. Over 2,500 NEW cases are diagnosed each year and the incidence is increasing. Regular PSA checks are really important for men over 50 as prostate cancer can be present for many years without even knowing it.
The prostate is located below the bladder and in front of the bowel. It surrounds the beginning of the urethra and the nerves that control erections surround the prostate. It produces fluid to protect and enrich sperm.
- Age: Prostate cancer is rare in younger men. Risk increases when you are over the age of 50 years
- Family history: Risk increases if your father or brother had prostate cancer. If they had it at a young age, the risk is greater
- Diet: Eating a healthy diet can lower the risk of many cancers
- Weight: Obesity or being overweight is a risk factor for a number of cancers
Warning Signs that something might be wrong with your prostate:
Urinating more often than usual
Getting up a number of times during the at night to urinate
Pain when urinating
Trouble starting or stopping urinating
Bladder doesn’t feel empty
Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
Trouble having or keeping an erection
Blood in urine or semen
The warning signs for prostate cancer are similar for a number of prostate problems, so while you might be worried about cancer, it may not be cancer – getting it checked out is simple. The first stage in getting your prostate checked is simply going to your GP and having a PSA test (a blood test). The GP may or may not do a digital rectal exam. Based on the outcome, you may then be sent to a specialist for further tests.