Prostate cancer begins in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm, explains Mayo Clinic. Prostate cancer does not usually produce any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis. When this happens, it can impair vital functions in this area.
Nonetheless, if you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, you should visit a GP, says the health body.
There’s no single, definitive test for prostate cancer, but the GP will discuss the pros and cons of the various tests with you to try to avoid unnecessary anxiety, it adds.
Am I at risk?
It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
Your risk of developing it depends on many things, including age, ethnicity and lifestyle.
According to Cancer Research UK, prostate cancer is more common in older men – prostate cancer is most common in men aged 75 to 79 years.
Prostate cancer is more common in black-African men than white men and it’s least common in Asian men, says the charity.
Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Researchers have found a link between being obese or overweight and cancers being higher grade (faster growing).
Obese means being very overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30.
BMI is the most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight, according to the NHS.
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.
Underscoring the association, there is some evidence that being active might help to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer.