- Prostate cancer symptoms include difficulty starting urination or holding back urine, painful urination, and difficulty having an erection
- Many men only realise they have a prostate after diagnosis
- Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour arising from the prostate gland
- The disease is usually diagnosed in patients aged above 50
Cancer charity Prostate Cancer UK last year revealed a huge 92 per cent of men have no idea what the hidden sex gland does for them and 54 per cent don’t know here it is in their body.
Many men only realise they have a prostate when they are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Figures also revealed nearly one fifth of men are unaware they even have a prostate.
So what is the prostate, and why is prostate cancer so lethal?
The prostate gland is present in men and is the size of a walnut – or an small satsuma and sits between the bladder and the penis.
The urethra – a tube that carries urine and semen for the bladder to the penis – runs through the gland.
The prostate gland produces a thick clear fluid that is an important part of semen. It also has muscles which help men ejaculate.
The gland can become enlarged, but it doesn’t mean a man necessarily has cancer.
Experts are still unsure why prostate cancer develops, but there are a number of things which can increase the risk of developing the disease.
Men who have have a brother or father with prostate cancer, or a family history of history of the disease are at increased risk.
The disease is also more common men of African-Caribbean or African descent.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour arising from the prostate gland.
The disease is usually diagnosed in patients aged above 50. Some patients don’t have symptoms of the condition, however some men have problems urinary symptoms or even back ache.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include a need to urinate frequently, especially at night, difficulty starting urination or holding back urine, painful urination, difficulty having an erection and blood in urine or semen.
Treatment for the condition can cause erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence as it can damage nerves in the area.
Sir Michael Parkinson, broadcaster and presenter suffered with prostate cancer.
Speaking in March, he said: “As someone who has been touched by a life-threatening disease, every day when I wake up I know that I’m lucky to be here.”
He said his cancer was picked up at an early stage and he was successfully treated. Dame Mary Archer, who is married to Jeffrey Archer, has also spoken to Express.co.uk about her husband’s health.
Lord Archer was diagnosed in prostate cancer in 2013 after doctors told him he had a high PSA reading.
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen and is one of the main tools used to assess the risk of prostate cancer.
PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and released into the blood stream in very small quantities.
More PSA is released when there is a problem with the prostate, and elevated levels can signal issues like prostatitis, enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
There is no screening test for prostate cancer because of the reliability of the PSA test, but men over fifty can ask for one, Cancer Research UK said.
SEVEN SIGNS YOU COULD HAVE PROSTATE CANCER