Problems relating to prostate health manifest as a wide range of symptoms. If you feel things are not normal for you, you should see a doctor for a psa test. Our same-day doctor service makes it easy for you to get checked by an experienced doctor at your convenience.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland at the base of the male bladder, around the urethra. It produces some of the fluid in semen, and nourishes and protects sperm. The prostate gradually enlarges the older you are, and as such, the greatest risk factor for cancer of the prostate is age, with cases developing mostly in men over 50.
Awareness and risk factors of prostate cancer
It is the most common male cancer, and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Over 40,000 cases were diagnosed in the UK in 2010 – that’s 25% of all male cancer cases diagnosed in the same year. Despite this, awareness about prostate health is low. Higher awareness about testing and treatment increases survival rates and decreases the chances that the cancer will spread.
Family history (a father or brother with a diagnosis prior to the age of 60), ethnicity (African and Caribbean men are more at risk), and diet (high levels of saturated fat are thought to play a role), are all thought to be risk factors.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
In some cases, there are mild or no symptoms. More pronounced early symptoms include:
• a need to urinate more frequently than normal, especially at night;
• urgent need to urinate;
• difficulty in starting the flow of urine;
• pain during urination or sex;
• lower back pain;
• blood in urine or semen (rare).
What to expect?
The best way to screen for prostate cancer is a blood test (psa test) that measures the inflammation of the prostate by checking levels of prostate specific antigen, or PSA. Results of this test can be provided within 4- 6 hours. We also offer examination and referrals for ultrasound and biopsy where this is required.
If you experience any of the above, it is important that you speak to a doctor. In many cases, these symptoms will present in benign conditions, but it is always best to be sure.