Which of the following men should speak to their GP about their prostate cancer risk?
- Steve is 52 years old, he has no urinary symptoms but tries to look after himself and stay healthy.
- Peter, a 75 year old, has been getting up in the night to pass urine recently and can struggle to get started.
- James, a 63 year old, has developed erectile dysfunction.
- Richard, a 68 year old, has noticed blood in his urine.
That’s right, ALL of them.
Any one of these men could be one of the 14,000 cases of prostate cancer who were not diagnosed during the covid-19 pandemic. Prostate Cancer UK is helping to find this group of men who have put off speaking to their GP about their concerns in the last two years.
Did you know that your risk of developing prostate cancer more than doubles if your father or a brother had the condition and black men have a 1 in 4 chance of developing prostate cancer in their lifetime compared with 1 in 8 for white men?
What will happen when I speak to my GP?
- Your GP will discuss your concerns and symptoms, help you work out your risk of prostate cancer and give you information to help you decide what further tests you would like to have done.
- You may decide to have a PSA blood test. You might need an examination of your prostate and you might need to be referred to a specialist.
More about the PSA blood test
- This blood test can be raised with any prostate disease including cancer, but most men with a raised level do not have cancer. More worryingly, many men with prostate cancer will have a normal PSA level.
- This uncertainty means PSA testing cannot be used for population screening in the same way that we have regular routine screening programmes for breast, cervical and bowel cancer.
- Despite the limitations of the PSA test, it is the only blood test we have and it can be requested by any man over 50 who understands the test’s limitations and the possible harms of further investigation and overdiagnosis.
If you are 50 or over and are concerned about prostate cancer or if you are any age and have urinary symptoms, erectile dysfunction or blood in your urine, please speak to your GP!