March 2016 is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the UK, so we’re shining the spotlight on the illness to help men take notice of it.
March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the UK and the organisers Prostate Cancer UK want to get as many people talking about the illness as possible. Greater awareness can help to ensure more people are being diagnosed earlier rather than later, when the chance of successful treatment is best. If more people know about the disease, there will be a better fundraising effort which will help vital research into the disease. Here’s all you need to know about the illness and how you can help.
The facts about prostate cancer
Let’s start by understanding the facts about prostate cancer. According to global man’s health charity Movember Foundation, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Over 42,000 men are diagnosed with the illness each year in the UK1 so if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer you are not alone.
What causes it?
The illness is caused by cells in the prostate gland reproducing more rapidly than they should, which leads to a tumour forming1.
What are the symptoms?
Not everyone that has prostate cancer will experience symptoms, which is why cancer screening and prostate mapping are so important in helping to detect it. The symptoms to look out for are1:
- frequent need to urinate;
- trouble starting to urinate or holding back the flow;
- weak or interrupted flow of urine;
- pain or a burning sensation when urinating;
- difficulty getting an erection;
- pain when ejaculating;
- blood or urine in the semen; and
- frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Who is at risk?
According to Prostate Cancer UK, the men most at risk of the illness are those over 50 years of age, men with a family history of prostate cancer, and black men2. Whether you fall into one of these demographic groups or not, it is wise to educate yourself on the symptoms so you can spot the signs.
What’s happening this Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?
Prostate Cancer UK always has events going on to raise awareness, and March is no different. One of the most high-profile events will see some of the biggest names in pop and rock perform at the O2 Academy in Islington on 16 March 2016, with all proceeds going to the charity. A few days later, Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling will walk ten marathons in ten days as part of the Men United movement. Men United aims to bring men together against the disease, and will see Stelling walk from the home of his beloved Hartlepool United Football Club to Wembley Stadium.
There is much more going on during March, and you can find fundraising activities to get involved in here on the Prostate Cancer UK website. There’s also guidance on how you can organise your own fundraisers online if you want to be proactive.
How are the funds used?
Prostate Cancer UK uses its funds to achieve its three priorities of better diagnosis, better treatment and better prevention3. They form the crux of the charity’s ten year research strategy which sets out how they will invest the money that is raised and the goals they hope to achieve.
What can I do to look after myself?
The exact causes of prostate cancer are not yet fully understood, so the best way to help yourself is to look out for the symptoms and get checked out if you notice anything unusual.
If you have any concerns about prostate cancer or would like to discuss treatments please speak to a BMI Healthcare consultant at one of our hospitals or treatment centres.
To find out more call us on 0800 157 7747 or make an online enquiry.