Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Prostate cancer rarely causes any symptoms until the cancer is large and puts pressure on the urethra.

This means when symptoms do occur, the disease is at a more advanced stage, so spotting symptoms and getting them checked as soon as possible is imperative.

Dr Sanjay Mehta, GP at The London General Practice, advised prostate cancer is a disease we tend to see in older age groups, although there are exceptions, as with any form of cancer.

He pointed out three symptoms that can appear in older men: “It’s often about urinary symptoms and changes to how you pee, so frequency, where you need to go more often.

“Hesitancy, where you’re standing over the toilet bowl and a period of time will pass before you’re able to pass urine, and ‘dribbling’, where you’ve finished but find you’re still passing using when you walk away.

“These are common in older men anyway. But if it’s new for you, and you find you’re having to go more often at night, and you’re having hesitancy or urgency, see your doctor.”

Other things Dr Mehta advised to get checked include erectile dysfunction, blood in your urine, and any new and unexplained lower back pain.

He added: “There are general systemic symptoms, like lethargy, lack of appetite – again, these things often happen anyway, but if it’s a change for you and it’s been happening for a couple of weeks, see your doctor.”

Once you see your doctor, Dr Mehta advised they will chat through your symptoms and history with you.

He continued: “The next step would involve an examination, including a rectal examination of the prostate.

“I appreciate this can put some men off seeing their doctor but it is a very helpful way of assessing things, and then there’s a PSA blood test.

“We can then make a clinical decision as to whether you need to be referred.”

There is no current screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. But this week, the UK government joined Prostate Cancer UK to unveil a £42 million screening trial to find ways to detect the country’s most common male cancer earlier.

The first-of-its-kind trial – called TRANSFORM – will use innovative screening methods like an MRI scan to detect prostate cancer, and it will see hundreds of thousands of men across the country participating.

Until now, this has not been a conclusive test for prostate cancer and is hard to interpret.

The trial has the potential to see new screening methods give more accurate results than the current blood tests, which can miss some cancers and often suggest prostate cancer when no cancer exists.

By admin

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