Man up! It’s time for a prostate check

2 min read

Professor Anthony Lowe reveals what to look for and how to armour yourself against this frightening killer of men.

With 20,000 men diagnosed every year, and 3,300 of those not surviving, prostate cancer is now killing more Australians than breast cancer^.

As actor Samuel L Jackson says here in his UK-based campaign One For The Boys the alarming death toll is partially due to the fact that many men are letting embarrassment stop them from addressing the situation.

Associate Professor Anthony Lowe of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia confirms the key to men overcoming these horrific statistics is early detection. If you’re experiencing any of the following four symptoms, it’s time to put your pride aside and visit your doctor, he says.

1. Problems peeing
Do you feel a “sudden need to urinate? Or do you find the opposite is the case and it’s uncomfortable to wee? Do you have difficulty starting and the flow is sometimes slow?” Any of these predicaments can unfortunately be a sign, Professor Lowe says. “And if you see blood in your urine or semen this can be a real problem - you should definitely go to your doctor right away.”

2. Aches and pains
Professor Lowe also warns that experiencing mysterious pains in the lower body can be a tell tale sign. Prostate cancer sufferers have reported aches at the lower back, upper thigh or hip region.

3. Unfortunate DNA
A family history of prostate cancer means, sadly, that you have a higher risk of being diagnosed. “If you have a brother or a father diagnosed early with prostate cancer, you’ve got a two to three times higher risk of developing prostate cancer. And if you have a father and two brothers, you have nine-10 times the risk, so it’s very important to know about your family history,” the professor warns.

4. Nothing seems wrong
Professor Lowe relays an anecdote about a colleague who, “during a presentation on the symptoms of prostate cancer, initially showed his audience a blank slide. This is because sometimes this cancer shows no overt signs in the early stages.” Therefore, it’s important that even if you’re feeling well and healthy, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and have a check if you’re over 50 years of age.

Prostate Health Guide

“Recent studies show another factor that may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer is obesity,” Professor Lowe reveals. “A healthy, balanced diet, consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and only drinking alcohol in moderation could help you avoid a frightening prognosis.”

We’re all guilty of enjoying a greasy breakfast on Sunday morning, but there is evidence that bacon and other processed meats could be linked to prostate cancer. While Professor Lowe says there is no need to “go bonkers” and ban these foods from your diet altogether, it would be wise to limit your consumption.

The good news is that, if discovered in the early stages, prostate cancer has a 90 per cent recovery rate. Professor Lowe states that “treatments and cures are good,” but implores men not to hesitate if they are experiencing any of the four signs mentioned above. “Men are notoriously bad at owning up to having symptoms of anything,” he concedes, “but now is not the time for pride or awkwardness.” Unlike breast or testicular cancer, self-examination isn’t possible, so if you are concerned, see a doctor immediately. It could save your life.

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^ source is AIHW Cancer Workbook

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This information is current as at 15/08/2016.

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