With more than 3000 men dying from prostate cancer every year in Australia, it's crucial to have regular check-ups and learn the symptoms.
Prostate cancer: The warning signs
According to MANDATE - an organisation raising funds for vital research into serious men's health issues - the common symptoms of prostate cancer include a difficulty in starting to urinate, the appearance of blood in urine and semen, discomfort when urinating, a slow flow of urine that is difficult to stop and decreased libido.
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While these symptoms can also be linked to other non-life threatening disorders, you need to visit a doctor as soon as possible to rule out the risk of prostate cancer.
Other symptoms include chronic constipation, frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs, the urgent need to urinate in the middle of the night and leaking or dribbling urine.
It is also suggested that men should be tested for prostate cancer regularly from the age of 50. Or, if there is a family history of the disease, from 40 onwards.
There are three main prostate disorders, including prostate cancer. The other two, which are non-deadly, are prostatitis and benign prostate hyperplasia.
But first things first. Where is the prostate and what does it do?
It is part of both the male urinary and reproductive systems, found below the bladder and in front of the bowel. It's main function is to secrete prostate fluid, one of the components of semen.
The prostate is walnut shaped, with two semi-circular lobes that encircle the urethra. Surrounded by layers of smooth muscle, the prostate is composed of countless small, fluid-producing glands interspersed within its blood vessels.
So, what is prostate cancer?
Cancer of the prostate occurs when the organ's cells reproduce more rapidly than normal, leaving swelling and, potentially, a tumour.
These cells eventually reach other parts of the body, often bones or lymph nodes creating secondary tumours.
It is possible to treat the cancer once it has escaped from the prostate, but there is no cure.
This article isn’t intended to frighten, despite how alarming some of the symptoms and statistics are.
Instead, it is intended to prepare men and teach them the important symptoms to know, so that they can be tested and treated before it is too late.