Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs you have it for many years.
Symptoms often only become apparent when your prostate is large enough to affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis).

The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.

For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent, and less common in men of Asian descent.

Men who have first degree male relatives (such as a father or brother) affected by prostate cancer are at slightly increased risk as well.

Signs and symptoms

Prostate cancer does not normally cause symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra. This normally results in problems associated with urination.

Symptoms can include:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate or pee (hesitancy)
  • Straining or taking a long time while urinating
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully

If you have any of the symptoms above please speak to your doctor.

These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored but they do not mean you definitely have prostate cancer. Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older due to a non-cancerous condition known as prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Symptoms that the cancer may have spread include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles, and unexplained weight loss.

Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate Cancer UK is the UK’s largest men’s health charity. Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life with three priorities:

  • Supporting men and providing information
  • Finding answers by funding research
  • Leading change to raise awareness and improve care