An award-winning cancer GP working across the Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire areas is supporting prostate cancer awareness month this March and hoping to educate local men about the disease.
It is estimated that by 2030 it will be the most common cancer across the UK. Around 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their life.
Only men have a prostate; its main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.
Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, with the risk increasing with age. The average age for a man to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 70 and 74 years. Under the age of 50, their risk of getting prostate cancer is very low. Men under 50 can get it, but it isn’t common.
For some men the first noticeable symptoms are where prostate cancer has spread to their bones. If this happens, men may notice recurring pain in their back, hips or pelvis. These symptoms could be caused by other problems such as general aches and pains or arthritis, but it is still a good idea for men to get them checked out by their GP if in any doubt.
Advanced prostate cancer which has spread to the bones is not curable, but hormone therapy and other treatments can keep it under control for many months or years. Over 250,000 men are currently living with the disease in the UK.
Dr Neil Smith, Macmillan GP for NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Prostate cancer symptoms are similar to a number of other harmless conditions but it’s important to be aware of them. If you are concerned about any symptoms you may be experiencing or your prostate cancer risk you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.”
“It is important to have anything unusual assessed. Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine and difficulty urinating should be checked out, especially if you find yourself getting you up several times during the night.”
More information about prostate cancer can be found online at http://prostatecanceruk.org/