The prostate gland is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate’s main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm. The most common prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
- More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day.
- Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,500 men every year.
- 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
- Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.
While many prostate cancers grow slowly and probably do not affect mortality, as men die of other causes before the cancer causes significant issues, in others the cancer behaves more aggressively and indeed almost 12,000 men in the UK die from this disease each year.
Risk factors for developing prostate cancer include being male over the age of 50, a family history of prostate cancer and being black.
Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms but it can be detected by the combination of a blood test for a substance made by inflamed prostate tissue (Prostate Specific Antigen – PSA) and advanced MRI scanning of the prostate gland. While prostate cancer screening by the NHS is controversial and not routinely offered, we believe that men should have the option of knowing if they have prostate cancer and onwards referral to an experienced specialist to enable an informed decision to be made of all the treatment options including a watch and see policy if that is considered most appropriate.