Each year around 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Sadly about 11,500 will die from the disease but many will also recover. We hope that you find the following information useful and encourage you to contact our nurses to discuss your health concerns.
Whilst we at Orchid use the term ‘male cancer’ we recognise that this language might be dysphoric for the transgender and non-binary community affected by prostate cancer.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate gland is located inside the body behind the penis and below the bladder. It is only found in males. It is tiny at birth but grows after puberty due to rising levels of the male hormone, testosterone.
The prostate has structures called seminal vesicles attached to it. These seminal vesicles secrete around 60% of the fluid that is needed to produce male semen, the fluid that men produce when they ejaculate.
Cancer of the prostate occurs when normal, healthy cells, which are carefully regulated in the body, begin to reproduce uncontrollably in the prostate gland.
In most cases, this type of cancer grows slowly and sometimes goes unnoticed for years. This is because it can cause very few symptoms. In some cases, however, it can progress more quickly and may spread to other parts of the body.
There is no single symptom to suggest prostate cancer. The most common symptom that people have heard of is difficulty with urinating (peeing) but some patients do not experience this at all. Early prostate cancer does not tend to affect the urethra or waterpipe and so urinary symptoms will not be present.
Some men who do not have prostate cancer may have problems urinating but this can be due to non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland as men get older, or problems with the urethra or bladder.
Men who are experiencing any problems passing urine including a slow, interrupted stream of urine, difficulty starting and stopping urination, blood in the urine, discomfort or pain should see their GP as soon as possible. If there is a risk of prostate cancer men will be referred to a hospital specilaist called a urologist for further investigation.
Living with Prostate Cancer Video
We invited a group of men and their partners to talk about how life has changed since being diagnosed. They share some of their personal experiences, challenges, fears and hopes in this engaging film.
More from NHS Choices
For further information on prostate cancer from NHS Choices, click on the button below.
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