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Things you should know about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer only affects men

Only men have a prostate gland, which is a group of cells the size of a walnut near the bladder. It makes the fluid that carries the sperm when a man ejaculates. With prostate cancer, the cells in the prostate gland start growing and form lumps (also known as tumours). Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and is more likely to occur in older men.

Prostate cancer affects all men differently

Unlike other cancers, prostate cancer often grows slowly. However, some men can still develop aggressive and potentially life-threatening prostate cancer. These men may benefit from finding the cancer early and having treatment.

Risk factors for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and your risk increases with age. If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, unless your father or a brother has had prostate cancer. If you are aged between 40 and 50 and your father or a brother has had prostate cancer then you should talk about having a check with your doctor.

You are more than twice as likely to get prostate cancer if your father or a brother has had prostate cancer. So, if your father or a brother has had prostate cancer, you should talk with your doctor about having a check.

Prostate cancer symptoms

Many men with prostate cancer have no symptoms and no problems with peeing. 

Problems with peeing are common as you get older and are mostly due to things other than prostate cancer.

Most men who have problems peeing have an enlarged prostate but do not have cancer. However, prostate cancer can cause problems with urinating. If you notice any of these symptoms you should talk to your doctor:

  • Dribbling, leaking or trouble stopping the flow of urine
  • Blood in pee
  • Urgently needing to pee
  • Needing to pee a lot, but not much comes out
  • Needing to pee a lot, but nothing comes out
  • Pee stops and starts, or the stream of urine is weak
  • Getting up to pee at night more than once

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