This is the second installment in our Movember series, a weekly blog post throughout the month of November highlighting men’s health issues and the awareness we all have surrounding them. Here, at Lakeland Kayaks we want our community to endeavor in their health and fitness and hope these blog posts can be of some use to you and those around you.
by Claire Weston
According to the Irish Cancer Society, over 3300 men in Ireland are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, meaning that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland in their lifetime. It is the most common male cancer experienced in our country. However, due to treatment’s available as well as growing awareness, it also has one of the best survival rates, with approximately 90% of men diagnosed with the disease surviving. It is the second most common cancer in the world among men, with 1.3 million men being diagnosed globally per annum. Some people who have been diagnosed with this disease include Robert De Niro, Sir Ian Mckellan, Ben Stiller and Phil Lesh, all of whom have had good prognosis due to early detection.
So, what is prostate cancer exactly? It is a cancer affecting only men, which develops when the cells of the prostate gland grow in an abnormal way to form a lump (tumour). This type of cancer will often grow slowly and cause little to no problems in most men. But some men may develop a prostate cancer which is more likely to spread around the body and produce secondary tumours, proving that early detection is key.
Not all people who have prostate cancer will have any tell-tale symptoms, with most being detected and recognised by your doctor during a routine checkup. Signs and symptoms include frequent urination at night, difficulty to being urination, painful or interrupted urination, painful ejaculation and blood present in urine or semen. Any changes in urinary or sexual function should be brought to the attention of your GP and investigated further.
Who is at risk? Your risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age but can affect any man at any time in their life. It is the second most common cancer among men. Ethnicity may predispose you to the disease, with men of African or Caribbean descent 2.5x more likely to get the disease. A family history of prostate cancer, or a previous cancer diagnosis also increases your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Early detection, as with any other forms of cancer, is key. By the age of 50, men should be receiving PSA tests yearly from their GP. This should happen in men of African or Caribbean descent, or men with a previous cancer diagnosis or family history of prostate cancer by 45.
A PSA is a simple blood test routine, measuring the Prostate Specific Antigen concentration in your blood. It is the primary method of prostate cancer screening.
So, remember, at 50 men should see their GP and talk about PSA testing, this is reduced the age of 45 if you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a family history of prostate cancer.
For more information and support on prostate cancer, it’s treatment as well as supports and services available to you in Ireland, visit the Irish Cancer Society at www.cancer.ie or freephone 1800 200 700