Lack of understanding
Around 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime but many don’t know where their prostate is and even fewer know what it does or the physical symptoms that can indicate an issue.
A survey of 2,000 people conducted by GenesisCare and Prostate Cancer Research revealed that 81% of men have concerns about their health, with a cancer diagnosis coming out as their top concern (22%). Prostate cancer is the most commonly feared type of cancer for men.
Despite their concerns, 49% of men admit to burying their head in the sand when it comes to health-related matters. So much so that while 86% of men are aware that an early cancer diagnosis can be lifesaving, 36% admit they have delayed seeking health advice, which has contributed to health anxiety.
As a result of this behaviour, a man’s support network has been shown to be instrumental in encouraging them to seek medical advice when something might be wrong. A third (34%) of men that have received a prostate cancer diagnosis said it was their partner who spotted the signs – and 35% admit that their partner persuaded them to see a doctor. In addition to partners, four in 10 (39%) men who have received a prostate cancer diagnosis said it took seeing someone they knew to be diagnosed to motivate them to see a doctor themselves.
It’s not just motivation to go and see the doctor that is lacking. There’s also a lack of confidence when there, as more than one in four men (28%) admit they’re not comfortable asking medical professionals questions or discussing symptoms (27%).
Asking questions to medical professionals or discussing symptoms doesn’t always come easily, but our research shows that men who did ask questions were more than twice as likely to be happy with the treatment they received.
Men's Health Awareness
This Men’s Health Awareness Month, we have created this short video to empower men at every stage of their journey: how to spot potential signs of prostate cancer, when to speak to medical professionals and how to discuss and access the best treatments available for them.
Act on it, get checked, don’t be scared to ask questions
- Dominic Littlewood, TV presenter and prostate cancer survivor
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut sized gland located below the bladder and surrounding the tube (the urethra) which carries urine from the bladder to the penis.
It produces a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) which generates most of the fluids contained in semen allowing it to travel out of the body when a man ejaculates.
Some PSA leaks naturally from the prostate into the blood stream but how much depends on your age and the health of your prostate. Increased PSA levels in your blood can be caused by conditions such as urinary infection, an inflamed or infected prostate, an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
To find out more about the prostate itself, watch this short animation video.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer
Know what your normal is, get yourself checked, and it could save your life
- David, prostate cancer patient
75% of men are unaware of symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Although early prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, if there’s a tumour that starts to grow it can begin to press on the urethra. This can cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Finding it hard to fully empty your bladder or feeling like your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
- Weak urine flow
- Leaking of urine, this might be just before or after you go to the toilet
- Needing to urinate more often, particularly during the night
- Sudden urges to urinate
- Noticing blood in your semen or urine
Experiencing these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. These can also be caused by other non-cancerous conditions. But it’s important to get medical advice as soon as possible if you have any concerns. An early diagnosis and treatment without delay can result in a better outcome.
GenesisCare is a global organisation with over 440 cancer specialist centres throughout the UK, USA, Australia, and Spain.
In the UK, we specialise in the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer that are proven to be effective. Our teams of expert uro-oncologists continually evaluate the latest prostate cancer treatments so we can offer the most up-to-date options to every patient without delay.
We believe care should be available when and where patients need it most and it should be designed to give them the best outcomes possible.