Prostate cancer develops when cancerous cells in the prostate – a small walnut-shaped gland in males – start to multiply uncontrollably. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. In fact, “symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra)”, explains the NHS.
Am I at risk?
The cause of prostate enlargement is unknown, but it has been linked to a number of risk factors.
Having a risk factor doesn’t mean that you will definitely develop prostate cancer.
Many risk factors for prostate cancer are not preventable.
For example, prostate cancer is more common in men aged 75 to 79 years, explains Cancer Research UK.
How is it treated?
Prostate cancer treatment depends on the diagnosis and the stage and grade of the cancer.
“Your doctor and nurse will help you understand what these treatments involve and how they may affect your life,” explains Macmillan Cancer Support.
The charity continues: “If possible, you may want to involve a partner or someone close to you in these talks.
“Deciding on your treatment can be difficult, but there is support to help you.”
The main treatments for prostate cancer include:
- Active surveillance
- Watchful waiting
- Surgery to remove the whole prostate (radical prostatectomy)
- Hormonal therapy.