Most men don’t know where the prostate is or what it’s for, so here you go:
- ‘Prostate’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘that which stands before’
- The prostate is a small gland which only men have; it’s the size of a pea at birth and grows the size of a walnut
- It lies just below the bladder and surrounds the top part of the urethra – the tube that drains urine from the bladder and which you pee through. It’s job is to produce secretions which keep the lining of the urethra moist and seminal fluid which carries
- You’ve got a greater than 50-50 chance of suffering prostate disease at some point in your life. The risk increases greatly as you get older, but problems can sometimes start much younger.
- One of the easiest ways to guage prostate health is by peeing: if you can pee easily and produce a strong steady stream, that’s a good sign. If it’s hard to pee or you have to pee frequently, especially at night, then you should see your doctor: it does NOT mean you have cancer: other benign prostate problems are far more common, but you should still get it checked out and not struggle on in a manly fashion!
- Even so, over the last 30 years prostate cancer rates have almost tripled, but probably much of the increase is down to increased detection through use of the PSA test.
- 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.
- 250,000 UK men are currently living with the disease.
- 1 man every hour dies of prostate cancer in Britain.
- But most men with prostate cancer live with it rather than die from it.
(Figures from According to Prostate UK, The Prostate Cancer Charity and Cancer Research).
The best news is there’s plenty you can do to reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you start now.
March is Prostate Awareness Month so I’ll be blogging and tweeting regularly with tips on how to do this, so watch out for them.