Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the UK and early detection is key. The cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer in the UK and the difference between early detection and late detection can be life and death.
Know the facts, take action and reduce your risk.
Who is at risk?
Your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a disease only affecting old men. It’s the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Men who are black, and men who have a family history are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer. Research also suggests that obesity increases the risk.
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. However, some prostate cancer grows too slowly to cause any problems and because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need to have treatment.
In other cases, the prostate cancer grows quickly and is more likely to spread. This is more likely to cause problems and will require treatment to stop it spreading.
Black men and those with a family history should consult with their doctor about a PSA test when they reach 45 years old and all other men should have this conversation at 50.
What is a PSA test?
A PSA test is a type of blood test that measures the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and may help to detect early prostate cancer. PSA is a protein that is produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate, a small gland that sits below the bladder in men.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer and many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.
However, others will experience symptoms and it’s important to ensure that you know what these are so that you can take any necessary next steps:
- Trouble passing urine
- A need to urinate more frequently, especially at night
- Struggling to completely empty the bladder
- Not quite making it to the toilet in time
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
Reducing your risk
The latest research suggests that being overweight or obese probably increases your risk of aggressive or advanced prostate cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is a good first step to take to reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
Some evidence shows that eating or drinking high calcium products, such as milk, yogurt or cheese might increase your risk of prostate cancer. More evidence is needed but you may want to try reducing these foods in your diet.
Eating tomatoes and oily fish more frequently in your diet may reduce your risks. This is because tomatoes contain a powerful anti-inflammatory chemical called lycopene and oily fish is full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Lastly, we don’t yet know whether physical activity can help to prevent prostate cancer, but some studies suggest it may help to lower your risk, particularly of aggressive prostate cancers.
For further information and support with prostate cancer, please visit prostatecanceruk.org.
PSA testing from Healthy Performance
At Healthy Performance we include PSA tests for those who are 40 age or older, within our 60 minute onsite employee health assessments. We also have several free resources available to educate you and your employees on prostate cancer, amongst many other health and wellbeing concerns.
If you would like further information on PSA testing for your employees, please contact our team on 0800 170 1777 or enquire via our online contact form.