The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut found in the male reproductive system. Prostate Cancer begins when abnormal cells grow in the prostate gland.
Prostate Cancer is a major health concern for Australian men. In fact, an estimated number of 18,138 males are new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in 2016 according to Australian Government.
The majority of these men are in the age range of 65-69, however prostate cancer can also occur earlier in life, at the age of 40-44 years old.
Prostate Cancer is a serious concern. In 2016, roughly 3,398 Australian men died of prostate cancer. Largely, the causes of prostate cancer are not understood so it’s important for males to become aware of the early stage symptoms of prostate cancer to prevent more serious and fatal conditions.
What are the Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer?
Males who have close relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60 have higher chance of developing prostate cancer. If your male family members and relatives have history of prostate cancer, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor.
Prostate cancer can also depend on age meaning as the age increases the chances become greater too. It can develop to 1 in 7 men at the age of 75 while it became 1 in 5 men at the age of 85. If you experience the symptoms of prostate cancer during that stage of your life, you need to see your doctor.
What are the Prostate Cancer Symptoms?
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. However, symptoms of early prostate cancer can include:
A slow, interrupted flow of urine
More frequent need to urinate at night.
Symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer include:
Blood in urine or semen
Burning or pain during urination
Lower back or pelvic pain
These symptoms can also show in men beginning to have prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is a common and non-cancerous enlargement of prostate gland. It is easy to confuse the two conditions so when you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.
How is prostate cancer detected?
Your Doctor may perform rectal examination to feel your prostate. There is a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) which is done to check the abnormalities of the prostate gland. This test is done by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. It's impossible to feel the entire cancer cell with a finger, and this sometimes results in an out of reach tumour going unnoticed. Contact your medical professional if you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this document.