Prostate Cancer. All men are at risk of developing it at some time in their lives and it is the commonest type of cancer in men.
Prostate cancer accounts for one quarter of all cancers diagnosed in men. 37,000 men are diagnosed with it every year and 250,000 men are currently living with the disease.
Prostate cancer can grow slowly or quickly. Most prostate cancer is slowgrowing to start with and may never cause any problems or symptoms in a man’s lifetime. However, some men will have cancer that is more aggressive or 'high risk'. This needs treatment to help prevent or delay it spreading outside the prostate gland.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
In the UK, about one in nine men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Key risk factors include:
Age – The chances of developing prostate cancer increases with age. It affects mainly men over the age of 50. 60% percent of cases are in men over 70
Family history – If a close relative developed prostate cancer before he was 60, you are four times more likely to develop it
Ethnicity – In the UK, Afro-Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop the disease than white men of the same age.
SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer is difficult to diagnose. Symptoms associated with the illness are often caused by other prostate conditions which are not cancerous. Many men with prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. However, there are some common symptoms you should be aware of:
A weak, sometimes irregular flow of urine
Difficulty in starting to urinate
A need to urinate frequently
A need to urinate urgently
Having to go to the toilet several times during the night
A feeling that the bladder is not completely empty after going to the toilet
Pain or burning when passing urine
Blood in the urine
Pain when ejaculating
Pain in the back, hips or pelvis.
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT
There are a number of different treatments available. Every case is dealt with on an individual basis by a team of health care professionals and will depend on the person’s grade and stage of cancer, age, fi tness levels, personal preference and medical history.
CAN YOU PREVENT PROSTATE CANCER?
No one knows how to prevent prostate cancer, but a healthy diet and regular exercise may help to lower your risk of developing the condition. It is also generally advisable for most men over 50, particularly those who have a family history of prostate cancer, to have an annual health check that includes an assessment of the prostate. Such checks can be carried out by your GP.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED
If you have any concerns you should see your GP straight away. He/she will arrange for tests to be carried out which can help to diagnose prostate problems. Your GP will then refer you to a urology clinic if your symptoms or test results suggest that further investigation is needed.
TO FIND OUT MORE
If you wish to get further guidance and information on prostate diseases including cancer a comprehensive list of links can be found on www.prostateuk.org
For more information about occupational health risks in the construction industry, contact Constructing Better Health (CBH) by visiting www.cbhscheme.com or call 0845 873 7726 for confi dential, impartial advice.