The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful. It is important that you get a prostate screen as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.
To book an appointment at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Prostate Screening Clinic Belfast, simply call us on 0845 60 06 352 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Screening for prostate cancer is an important part of cancer care. The aim of screening is to diagnose disease
- At an early stage
- Before symptoms start
- When it is easier to treat
- When it is more likely to be curable
Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancers can be there for years before they are found. This type of cancer can often grow very slowly indeed and may not cause any symptoms or problems at all during a man's lifetime. By the age of 80, many men will have some cancer cells in their prostate, but only 1 in 25 of them will actually die from prostate cancer. On the other hand, some types of prostate cancer are faster growing and can spread to other parts of the body.
For screening to be most helpful, it would only pick up prostate cancer that is faster growing and likely to be a threat to a man's health. Picking up very slow growing cancers with screening would mean that many men would have treatment that they didn't really need. The treatments can cause unpleasant side effects, which affect men for the rest of their lives.
How common is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men in the UK (not counting non melanoma skin cancer). More than 41,700 men are diagnosed each year. That is almost a quarter of all cancers diagnosed in men.
What age group is most at risk?
Prostate cancer is quite rare in men under 50. More than half of all cases are diagnosed in men over 70. Age is the most significant risk factor of all for prostate cancer. The older you are, the greater the risk. In old age, up to 8 out of 10 men have prostate cancer cells in the prostate.
In the UK, about 1 in 9 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Remember, this is lifetime risk and involves men who get prostate cancer at any age, up to 85 or more. The risk of developing prostate cancer in younger men is much lower than 1 in 9.
Can prostate cancer be linked to family history?
A family history means that you have someone in your family who has had cancer. If you have a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer you are 2 to 3 times more likely to get prostate cancer yourself, compared to the average man. The age that your relative is diagnosed with prostate cancer may also be a factor. If they were diagnosed before the age of 60, this increases your risk by slightly more than if they were diagnosed after the age of 60. If you have more than one first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer (at any age) your risk is about 4 times that of the general population.
If your relative was young when they were diagnosed, or if you have several relatives with prostate cancer, these could be signs that there is a faulty gene running in the family. The younger the age at diagnosis, the more likely it is that an inherited faulty gene is the cause. Remember that for there to be a faulty gene at work, the affected relatives have to come from the same side of your family (your mother's side or your father's side).
Men who have relatives with breast cancer may also have a higher risk of prostate cancer, particularly if the family members were diagnosed under the age of 60. This increased risk is mostly caused by an inherited faulty gene called BRCA2. Men who have a fault (mutation) in the BRCA2 gene can have a risk of prostate cancer that is 5 times higher than men in the general population. The risk can be 7 times higher in men under the age of 65.
Faults in a gene called BRCA1 may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer in men under the age of 65 by a small amount. But in men older than 65 who have a faulty BRCA1 gene there doesn’t appear to be an increased risk.
Statistics available are always a generalisation. For most men there will be specific factors which will increase their risk of Prostate Cancer.
Does ethnicity increase my risk of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is more common in black Caribbean and black African men than in white or Asian men. In the UK, black African and black Caribbean men are 2 or 3 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Asian men have a lower risk than white men.
Prostate Screening Belfast at the Prostate Screening Clinic can offer diagnosis and reassurance if you have been suffering from prostate related symptoms.