In a nutshell - prostate cancer

The prostate gland is found beneath the bladder and above the penis. It’s about the size of a large walnut and is responsible for producing the fluid that combines with sperm to create semen.

Cancer of the prostate gland is the most common male cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cancer overall. It’s a very slow-growing cancer so it’s rarely diagnosed in men below the age of 50 – in fact, the majority of cases occur in those over 65.

The incidence of prostate cancer has increased in recent years but this is largely due to improved detection, especially through the PSA blood test. Lifestyle however remains the most effective way to minimise your prostate cancer risk.

Prostate cancer risk factors under your control

There are several lifestyle choices you can make to keep your prostate cancer risk as low as possible – as well as boost your health and wellbeing in so many other ways;

  • keeping physically active

  • maintaining a healthy weight

  • consuming tomato-based foods and drinks on a regular basis

  • eating foods rich in the mineral selenium

  • avoiding occupational exposure to pesticides and substances containing arsenic

Your fixed risks

Some prostate cancer risks factors are less controllable. If any of these apply to you then you should ensure that you are particularly careful about positively managing your high risk priorities and also keeping up your low-risk areas;

  • increasing age

  • a personal history of Lynch syndrome or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland)

  • Black ethnicity

  • having a family history of prostate cancer

  • your mother having a personal history of breast cancer

  • being tall

  • undergoing radiotherapy

Early signs

Above all, if you’re over 50 then keep an eye out for possible early signs of prostate cancer – have a chat with your doctor if you’re at all worried about any of the following;

  • having to rush to the toilet to pass urine

  • passing urine more often than normal, especially at night

  • difficulty passing urine, including straining to pass it or stopping and starting

  • a sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder

and especially if you experience;

  • pain when passing urine

  • blood in your urine or semen

Remember – catching cancer before it develops further or worse, spreads elsewhere dramatically improves your chances of treating it successfully.

Get in touch with your Quealth and unlock your life’s potential!

Paul Nash – Quealth Clinical Lead

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