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Prostate Cancer

If you or a friend or relative have been diagnosed with cancer, below is some basic information on the disease.
Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men in the UK, with over 24,700 new cases a year. The lifetime risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer is 1 in 14.
The cancer develops from cells within the prostate gland.
The majority of prostate cancers are slow growing and many men are unaware that they have this cancer. However, a small number of prostate cancers grow more quickly and may spread to other parts of the body.

Risk factors:
Age
This cancer is rare in men under the age of 50 years.
Family history

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases if there is a first-degree relative (father or brother) who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age. Having an elderly relative with prostate cancer is not uncommon and does not increase the risk. In a small number of cases, prostate cancer runs in families because of a faulty BRCA2 gene.
Radioactive substances
Exposure to certain radioactive substances, e.g. in the nuclear industry, may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Race
Prostate cancer is more common in men of African descent.
Screening
There is a blood test for a protein called PSA, which can help to detect prostate cancer. However, additional tests are necessary to be sure.
Signs and symptoms
The prostate enlarges as men get older, and most men have some symptoms affecting urination. This very common condition, known as BPH, is not cancer. Many of the symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to those of BPH. Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
passing urine more often and/or at night
difficulty starting the flow of urine
starting and stopping whilst passing urine
discomfort (pain or burning) whilst passing urine
a feeling of not having emptied the bladder fully
dribbling of urine
blood in urine or semen
pain in the back, hips or pelvis.

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