Men’s health is a big focus throughout Movember and one of the biggest health issues for men is prostate cancer. In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at the disease.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia, with more than 3,000 Australian men dying from the disease each year.
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the prostate gland develop more quickly than in a normal prostate, forming a malignant tumour.
The prostate is a small gland that is about the size of a walnut and sits below the bladder near the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the passage of the penis through which urine and semen pass.
Only men have a prostate and it forms part of the male reproductive system. It produces some of the nutrients that sperm need once they leave the body and secretions from the prostate make up a large part of semen.
Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing disease and survival rates are better than 98% chance of survival beyond 5 years, when detected early. If found late, however, those survival rates drop to below 26%.
In the early stages, prostate cancer rarely has symptoms. In later stages of the disease, some symptoms may include:
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. These include:
3. Race. Prostate cancer is slightly more common in people of African and Caribbean descent. If this applies to you, it is recommended you speak to your doctor about getting a PSA blood test at 45 years of age.
4. Diet and Lifestyle. While there is no direct evidence to suggest diet and lifestyle increase your risk of developing the disease, it is still recommended that you maintain a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, remain physically active and minimise alcohol consumption to improve your overall health.
There is no simple, single test to detect prostate cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have prostate cancer, they will generally recommend you undergo one or more of the following tests:
To make a booking with one of our GPs to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your prostate or overall health in general, visit our Online Bookings page or contact us on (08) 9208 6400.
For more information on this topic, visit:
- Australian Government, Cancer Australia - http://prostate-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au
- Cancer Council Australia - https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/prostate-cancer.html
- Movember Foundation - https://au.movember.com/mens-health/prostate-cancer#the-facts
- Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia - http://www.prostate.org.au
- WA Department of Health - https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Prostate-cancer