What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer means there is a potentially harmful growth of cells in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect Australian males. There are around 19,500 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed each year in Australia, representing about 1 in every 770 Australian males. Genetic factors do influence the incidence of prostate cancer, shown by the higher rates in men with prostate cancer in their family history. Higher risk is also seen among some ethnic and racial groups, as well as those who carry specific genes.
What are signs of prostate cancer?
If any of the following symptoms are experienced, it is highly recommended to consult with your GP
- Feeling the frequent or sudden urge to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
- Discomfort when urinating
- Blood in your urine or semen
- Pain in lower back, upper thighs, or hips
How to be proactive about your prostate?
The most important thing you can do: be aware of the symptoms and get tested!
Being aware of the main symptoms are super important. That way, you can get early testing, leading to an early diagnosis. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more likely it will be that it can be cured or successfully managed. In fact, you do not have to wait for symptoms to arise before thinking about protecting your prostate health.
There is a screening blood test for prostate cancer called a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test. PSA screening is about finding the aggressive cancers early while they are still curable and before they spread to other parts of the body. There’s much debate about the PSA test, so talk it over with your doctor to see if it is appropriate for you and to make sure you understand all the benefits and risks of testing. Early prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy or active surveillance.