Live Well: Be Prostate Aware
September is known for spring; it is also known for prostate cancer awareness month. According to research done by Frontiers in Public Health, prostate cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men, globally and was the fifth leading cause of death in 2020. According to the National Cancer Registry (NCR) report in 2017, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in South Africa across all provinces, with an incidence rate of 61.8 per 100,000 men while the risk for aggressive prostate cancer is higher in black men. It also tends to run in families which is why men need to know their family cancer history, especially where there is prostate or breast cancer in a first degree family relative.
Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases the older one gets. The most common age for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. Unfortunately, there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumour does not push against anything to cause pain, however, some men will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
These symptoms include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
No one knows how to prevent prostate cancer, but a healthy lifestyle and being proactive about your health through having regular screenings are some preventative methods one can follow to reduce risk. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer remember it isn’t the end of the world, take time to research what treatment options that are best suited to you and spend more time with loved ones and do not neglect your mental well-being.