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What is Prostate Cancer?

With over 37,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year, you need to know the facts.

Prostate cancer is caused when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormally and form lumps called tumours.

Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year and with 10,000 men each year dying from the disease, it is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men in the UK.

Prostate cancer is more common in men over the age of 50 and the most common occurrence is in men over the age of 70. Recently there has been a 6-fold increase in men aged 40-59 being diagnosed with the condition.

At present there is no national NHS screening programme for prostate cancer. ProstateHealth UK offers safe, accurate and affordable private prostate cancer screening with rapid results – read more here.

What is the prostate and what does it do?

The prostate is a small sex gland about the size of a walnut that assists in the production of semen. It sits just below the bladder and envelops the urethra, the tube that carries urine to the penis from the bladder. This is why many men suffer with urination problems or sexual disfunction if there is a problem with their prostate.

What are the causes of prostate cancer?

The causes of prostate cancer are still unknown but there are a number of risk factors that have been identified including family history, diet, ethnicity, lifestyle and age. Read more about the risk factors here.

What are the treatments for Prostate Cancer?

Treatment of prostate cancer is complex and will depend on many factors including:

  • General health and life expectancy
  • The stage of the prostate cancer (how far it has spread)
  • The size and type of cancer
  • What grade the cancer is

In many instances no action will be needed as the cancer is unlikely to grow and affect the lifespan of the individual. Careful monitoring involving regular PSA tests and biopsies will however be needed to ensure the cancer doesn’t develop further and become a fast-growing cancer.

Where treatment is necessary there are a vast variety of different methods and your consultant will determine which one is the best for you. Treatment methods include:

  • Radical Prostatectomy – Surgical removal of the prostate gland
  • Radiotherapy - Using targeted radiation to kill cancerous cells in the prostate
  • Brachytherapy – Using radioactive seeds implanted into the prostate to kill cancer cells
  • Hormone Therapy – Hormones control the growth of prostate cancer so hormone therapy, often used in conjunction with radiotherapy can reduce the growth of the cancer.
  • Trans-urethral resection of the prostate (TURP) – similar to a biopsy but where a larger piece of the prostate is removed often to relieve symptoms of prostate cancer i.e. difficulty urinating
  • Steroids – often used if hormone therapy no longer works if the cancer has become resistant to it.
  • Chemotherapy – often used if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells by interfering with how they multiply. Chemotherapy won’t cure prostate cancer but can control it.

Affordable prostate cancer screening
For men aged 40+

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Worried about prostate cancer? ProstateHealth UK offers safe, accurate and affordable private prostate cancer screening with rapid results – find out more or

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