Prostate cancer affects one in six men over 50 and is most common after age 70. In South Africa there is a very high rate of late detection of advanced stage disease due to a lack of awareness.
The prostate is a small gland positioned around the urethra (the exit tube from the bladder, which runs through the penis) and it produces seminal fluid, which along with sperm from the testicles, make up semen
Symptoms appear only in advanced prostate cancer and are similar to those of benign prostate problems. They include
- frequent urination, especially at night
- trouble starting/stopping urine flow
- weak urine flow
- sensation of incomplete voiding
- pain/burning sensation while urinating
- blood in the urine
Your doctor will do a physical examination where he inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to palpate the prostate through the rectal wall for lumps which could be a sign of cancer.
Most enlargements of the prostate are benign (not cancer) and can be treated easily. See your doctor to make sure! You should have a check-up annually from age 50 and from age 45 if you have a family member who has had prostate cancer