Prostate cancer doesn’t really usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to be able to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the penis. The symptoms can include:
- Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to pee
- Straining or taking a long time while peeing
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
- Blood in urine or semen
However, these symptoms don’t mean you are guaranteed to have prostate cancer. Many men’s prostates get larger, as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement. Signs that the cancer may have spread include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss.
Now, on to the causes. It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Age – The risk rises as you get older, and most cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 50.
- Ethnic Group – Prostate cancer is more common among men of African descent than any other ethnic group.
- Family History – Having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer before the age of 60 seems to increase your risk of developing it; research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Obesity – Recent research suggests there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer, and a balanced diet and regular exercise may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Diet – Research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer, and there is some evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
If you feel that you may be suffering from prostate cancer then don’t hesitate to contact your GP.