The most commonly diagnosed cancer – and it’s in men

Prostate cancer overtakes breast cancer

Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England, overtaking breast cancer for the first time, latest figures show.

In 2018 there were nearly 50,000 registered cases - around 8,000 more than in 2017.  Most cases develop in men over the age of 65.

Public Health England says it is because more men are getting tested.

Who is at risk?

  • Men over 50
  • If you have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Caribbean/African men over 45
  • Overweight men or men who smoke.

You may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by making healthy choices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet.

What are the symptoms?

Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. Changes may include (but are not limited to):

  • Difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
  • A weak flow when you urinate or a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
  • Dribbling urine after you finish urinating or needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  • A sudden urge to urinate – you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.

These symptoms can also be caused by other things that aren’t prostate cancer but it is still a good idea to get any symptoms checked by your GP.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

There is no single test for prostate cancer - a blood test, biopsies and physical examinations are all used.

If a doctor suspects that you may have prostate cancer, he or she will usually:

  • Examine the prostate
  • Do a blood test
  • A biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis – new studies show that an MRI scan can be used effectively instead.

Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, hormone treatment and, less commonly, chemotherapy. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments is used.

The outlook for prostate cancer is varies. Some prostate cancers are slow-growing and do not affect life expectancy. On the other hand, some have already spread to other parts of the body when they are diagnosed.

Find out more

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