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Most men ‘do not know any symptoms of prostate cancer’

By Jane Kirby, PA Health Editor

Most men do not know any symptoms of prostate cancer, according to a new poll.

The survey for YouGov found men were generally unable to identify any signs, which include the need to pee more frequently (often during the night), needing to rush to the toilet, difficulty in starting to pee or weak urine flow.

Other symptoms include feeling that the bladder has not emptied fully and blood in the urine or semen.

Signs of more advanced cancer can include bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, testicular pain and unintentional weight loss.

The poll of 1,456 men found 68% did not know any symptoms of prostate cancer.

Even among older men, who are most at risk, 62% of men aged 50 to 59 did not know any signs, nor did 60% of 60 to 69-year-olds and 54% of 70 to 79-year-olds.

Only one in eight men (13%) spotted the most recognised symptom, which is having to – or feeling the need to – urinate more frequently.

Overall, one in five men have had a prostate check with a medic, with men more likely to have an examination as they get older.

However, many are reluctant to get checked out, with one in five (18%) of all men saying they are “not very” or “not at all” willing to take such a test, including the 6% who said they definitely would not have one.

In the poll, many men were aware that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (59%) and that prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men.

However, just one in three (35%) knew that genetics plays a role, with men more likely to develop the cancer if a male relative has done so.

Furthermore, just 11% knew that prostate cancer does not necessarily require immediate treatment once discovered.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, with more than 47,500 cases and around 11,500 deaths each year.

Amy Rylance, head of improving care at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, which makes it especially concerning that most men aren’t aware of some basic facts about the disease.

“However, it’s important to note that prostate cancer doesn’t usually have symptoms until it’s already spread. This means men can’t afford to wait for symptoms before they act and should consider their risk instead.

“Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk is higher for black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer over 45.

“These men should consider speaking to their GP about the pros and cons of a PSA test.”

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