Prostate Cancer, what is it?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian men (after non-melanoma skin cancer) – The Cancer Society Australia
Prostate cancer begins with the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland, which is only found in men. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, surrounding the urethra – the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. The prostate gland produces and stores fluid that helps to make semen (UCLA Health, 2021).
Who is at risk of Prostate Cancer?
Certain men are at higher risk for prostate cancer than others. However, the causes of prostate cancer are still relatively unknown which is why it is important that all men get regular prostate check-ups. The risk of prostate cancer is known to increase with age – Men over the age of 50 should be particularly aware of their prostate health.
It is important to note that you have an idea of your family history regarding cancer. This is due to the several underlying factors that could contribute to passing on Prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer symptoms, what to look out for?
In the early stages of prostate cancer there can be no symptoms, and this is why regular check-ups are crucial.
In later stages symptoms may include:
Types of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is described according to where it is located in the body.
1. Localised – Prostate cancer that is restricted to one prostate gland.
2. Locally advanced – prostate cancer that has spread into other areas of tissue near the prostate or can even spread to the pelvic lymph nodes.
3. Advanced or metastatic – prostate cancer that has reached other areas of the body such as organs, bones, and lymph nodes.
Facts to know about Prostate cancer
1. 3500 men die each year.
2. 9 men die every day
3. More men die from pc then women of breast cancer.
4. More men die from pc then both men and women of skin cancer
5. More men die from pc then both men and women of suicide (3000)
6. More men die from pc then both men and women of car accidents
7. It is the biggest killer of Australian men
8. 25,000 diagnosed each year – that’s 1 every 30 minutes.
9. Men in regional and rural areas have a 21% higher risk of death then men in the city areas.
10. Men with pc are 70% higher risk of suicide compared to the general population
11. 1 in 5 men with prostate cancer experience long-term anxiety and depression
12. 82% report unmet needs in the first year after diagnosis
13. 35 to 40% of men experience poorer physical and mental quality of life outcomes and lower life satisfaction 10 years post-diagnosis
What testing can you get done?
There is more than just one way of detecting Prostate cancer, speak with your doctor to discuss the best option for you.
PSA or Prostate-specific antigen
A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test – many men do not know that blood tests are now able to be used to detect abnormal cells on the prostate. This PSA blood test can be completed at your local doctor.
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
This test is carried out by a doctor who inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate and determine whether there is any abnormalities based on size or shape.
If there is any indication of abnormalities and that Prostate cancer may be present a referral will be made to Urologist that can carry out additional testing.
Once you have reached the age of 50 or for men with underlying family history you should be receiving a test every one to two years. It is crucial to make sure you are getting these regular checkups and using both tests if possible.