The month of September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month across Australia!
We’re asking Australians to get involved and raise awareness of prostate cancer in their own lives and communities, as well as highlighting the many support services available to men with prostate cancer and also to their families, friends and carers.
When abnormal cells in the prostate gland start growing in an uncontrolled way, this is the beginning of what is known as prostate cancer. It’s important to investigate any symptoms or abnormal test results in a prompt manner, even though in most cases, prostate cancer grows slower than others but in some cases, it can grow and spread quickly.
It is the most common cancer in Australian men, with approximately 18,000 new cases diagnosed each year. 1 in 6 men are at risk of developing prostate cancer before they turn 85, as the risk increases with age. It is uncommon in men younger than 50, but not unheard of. The risk is higher for men with a history of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer than those who have no family history of cancer.
There are often no symptoms with early prostate cancer, even when it is advanced, it isn’t unheard of to not be experiencing any symptoms at all.
Some signs of advanced prostate cancer may include the following:
There is another condition known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or BPH that may also account for any symptoms related to the prostate or any growth that can cause problems with urine flow. This condition is usually a normal part of our ageing process, and not cancerous.
BPH can cause symptoms with urination, such as the following:
For any of these symptoms, it is always best to consult with your GP.
There are no tests with sufficient accuracy to screen the male population for the early stages but early detection and subsequent treatment can improve outcomes. If you are in any way concerned, please consult with your GP.
To find out more about the diagnosis process and how prostate cancer can be managed or treated, please read our Understanding Prostate Cancer publication, published by Cancer Council.
Some of our other publications that may be of interest:
Cancer Council also regularly run webinars, focussing on different areas. The following may be of particular interest to men with prostate or other cancers:
The following services are all entirely free and run by Cancer Council around Australia:
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