The following article has been published in a number of community magazines in the North Hampshire area.
Don’t leave it too late. Be aware of your prostate!
Every hour a man dies from prostate cancer. That’s 10,900 deaths a year. In the next twelve months 44,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease. The number of men diagnosed per year has already overtaken the number for breast cancer. By 2030 prostate cancer is set to become the most common cancer overall in the UK.
Most cases occur in men over fifty. One in eight men gets prostate cancer. Black men have a one in four chance of getting the disease. If there is a family history, these risks increase even more. These are stark and worrying statistics
There is a lot of ignorance about the prostate. It is a very small gland, about the size and shape of a walnut. It sits under the bladder and surrounds the urethra – the tube through which men pee. It’s no surprise therefore that one possible worrying symptom is the need to urinate more frequently and at night. But sometimes there are no symptoms of the disease at all!
Like all cancers, early detection can save lives. The answer is simple: know the symptoms, get checked if you are worried. A simple blood test is all that it takes. Become more familiar with the disease before it becomes too familiar with you. Look at the information on the Prostate Cancer UK website; it will give you everything you need to know.
If you, or someone you know, is already one of the 400,000 sufferers, then why not join your local support group? The North Hampshire Prostate Cancer Support Group (NHPCSG) helps men and their partners whose lives are affected. The Group meets monthly, offers friendship and support and has talks on health matters. Members share their experiences and feelings. As an old advert says “It’s good to talk”.
Looking after your health and general fitness can be especially valuable in combating some of the effects of the disease and of its treatments, like fatigue for example. Members can take part in a weekly exercise class that Basingstoke Sports Centre has set up just for our Group.
Want to know more? Call: Alan Instone Chair of NHPCSG on 01256 764485.