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Put on your armour against prostate cancer

25 February 2014

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, often giving no warning signs or symptoms. The best defense against prostate cancer is to be aware of what the possible symptoms are.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, often giving no warning signs or symptoms. The best defense against prostate cancer is to be aware of what the possible symptoms are.

Mr Matt Winkler, consultant urologist at West Middlesex University Hospital and trustee at The Mulberry Centre, treats many men with prostate cancer.

He’s explaining what to look out for as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in March.

He says: “Although the causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown, it accounts for around a quarter of cancer diagnosis in men in the UK each year.

“The prostate is a small gland, about the size of a walnut, located between the penis and the bladder. It surrounds the urethra which carries urine from the bladder.

“If the prostate is enlarged it can put pressure on the urethra so symptoms can include needing to urinate more often, difficulty with urinating, weak bladder flow and feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied fully.    

“Prostates become enlarged as men get older and this may not mean they’re cancerous. Symptoms can be treated easily and tests can exclude prostate cancer.

“Men may be at risk of prostate cancer if they are aged over 50 years, if they have a close male relative who has been diagnosed with it or a close female relative diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. Research also shows it is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent. Being obese may also be a factor and eating a calcium-rich diet.

“Some research has shown that prostate cancer rates appear to be lower in people who eat foods containing certain nutrients including lycopene, found in tomatoes and other red fruit, and selenium, found in Brazil nuts. Men who take regular exercise have also been found to be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer.”

A one-stop prostate clinic is available at West Middlesex, by GP referral, providing counseling and a biopsy to determine prostate cancer in one appointment.

The clinic is run by the hospital’s specialist urology department, headed by Mr Winkler, and treatment may involve radiotherapy, day case key hole surgery or ultrasonic heating (HIFU) of the cancer.

State of the art complementary treatments and counseling are provided by local cancer support charity, The Mulberry Centre.

Please don’t hesitate to talk to your GP if you have any concerns that you may have prostate cancer.