8 things you didn’t know about prostate cancer

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Did you know that if someone has a first-degree relative – meaning a parent or a brother with prostate cancer, their risk for developing the disease is 2.5 times higher than the others?

This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, find what’s more you didn’t know about prostate cancer. 

1. If my father had prostate cancer, I already have an inherited risk of developing one! 

If prostate cancer runs in your family, you already have an inherited or genetic risk for the disease too. From a medical perspective, this is quite reasonable because genetics do pass down the risk factors in the form of altered genes that increase a person’s chance of developing cancer.

2. And it’s not just genetics! 

In addition to genetics, scientists say personal and environmental factors can contribute to a person’s risk of prostate cancer too. 

For instance, living a largely sedentary lifestyle, obesity, excessive alcohol use, an unhealthy diet, or exposure to harmful chemicals can increase a person’s risk of developing prostate cancer. 

3. Indeed, prostate cancer happens mostly in older men, but it can strike younger men too

The Australian stats on prostate cancer tells that the number of men diagnosed with this cancer increases with aging. But, although it’s uncommon for a man in his forties to suffer from prostate cancer, the number of younger men diagnosed with it is on the rise. And what’s more, the disease is more likely to be aggressive but with an easier chance to treat and manage. 

4. You might have prostate cancer for years without even knowing it 

If you didn’t know before – prostate cancer is one of the most asymptomatic types of cancer, meaning someone might have it for years but without experiencing any symptoms. And this is the reason why prostate cancer is often caught during a routine screening. 

5. But there could be potential early warning signs too

While it’s true that early prostate cancer will not cause any symptoms, there are potential warning signs to keep an eye for. Such as; 

  • Facing difficulty starting or stopping to urinate 
  • The feeling of not being able to empty your bladder 
  • Feeling pain with ejaculation 
  • Blood in urine or semen

6. Most men beat prostate cancer 

For men with prostate cancer, the odds of surviving are definitely in their favour. But again, this depends on how early it was caught or at what age it was diagnosed. 

According to Cancer Australia, the overall 5-year survival rate is 96%, with a 100% survival rate when diagnosed at stage 1

7. Most often, prostate cancer is diagnosed out of the blue

Despite its high prevalence in Australia, prostate cancer is often caught out of the blue. This is because one will likely think they’re at risk unless they have a first-degree relative diagnosed with the same disease. 

A good possible indicator is a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. So, when high levels of PSA are detected in the bloodstream, it may indicate prostate cancer. 

But, remember, a PSA test will only indicate how great your risks are, not that you have it. 

8. Immediate treatment may not be the solution

As opposed to the popular belief that immediate intervention is the only solution to treat cancer, it is not always the case for treating prostate cancer. 

For instance, your doctor will wait and monitor to see if the cancer is growing, medically termed as the ‘watchful waiting.’ 

The oncologist will aim to keep an eye on cancer over a long period of time, unless you show symptoms, because it often grows very slowly, without you realising it. 

We advise you to get your prostate cancer screenings done 

Male patient in his 50s asking doctor about prostate cancer screening test in Solitaire Medical Group, Adelaide.

While it’s true to watch out for symptoms of any disease actively, it is essential to ask your doctors for advice.

Meet your doctors for a yearly check-up and ask for suggestions on when to start screening for prostate cancer.

At Solitaire Medical Group, we’re serious about men’s health issues. This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we urge you to get your prostate cancer screening done because early detection can make all the difference.