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March - Prostate Cancer
Suzanne SteedMar 17, 2023 1:52:08 PM2 min read

Prostate cancer - symptoms and risks

Across the UK, more than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year on average and it is the most common cancer in men.


What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is when abnormal cells start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way in the prostate gland - this is part of the male reproductive system. The cells can grow into surrounding tissues or organs, and may even spread to other areas of the body.


What are common symptoms of prostate cancer?

Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms; that's why it's so important to attend regular check-ups.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
  • A weak flow when you urinate
  • Dribbling urine after you finish urinating
  • Needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
  • A sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet

Usually early symptoms will occur if the cancer grows near the tube you urinate through (the urethra) and presses against it – this changes the way you urinate. However, because prostate cancer usually starts to grow in a different part of the prostate, early prostate cancer doesn’t often press on the urethra and cause symptoms.

This is why it’s important to know the risk factors.


Risk factors

The three main risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Age: Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and the risk increases with age.
  • Ethnicity: If you are of black ethnicity (or with African or Caribbean roots) your risk of getting prostate cancer is higher in comparison to other men. The cause of this is still unknown, however, studies show that it may be linked to genes.
  • Family History: Our genes (passed down from our parents) play an essential part with controlling our the body grows and works. The risk for developing prostate cancer can increase by 2.5 times if your father has had prostate cancer - this is because you may have inherited the same faulty genes. Your risk may also increase if there is history of breast cancer within your family.

Prostate Cancer UK risk checker tool can help go through your potential risks.


When shall I speak to my GP?

If you worried about symptoms or fall under any of the risk factor categories, please speak your GP. They can refer you for additional tests if they have any concerns.


How can Reframe support me?

Led by Cancer Nurse Specialists, Reframe provide guidance at every step of the way. We are there to help at different stages including awareness and detection to after treatment. We have a team of Registered Cancer Nurses with extensive oncology experience and Cancer Support Managers - who can attend to your concerns, answer any question and provide guidance.

Reframe are here to support you, or a loved one with cancer.

Find out more about our support