With over 47,500 people being diagnosed and 11,500 deaths from prostate cancer each year, the disease remains the top cancer risk for males. But despite this, two thirds of British males do not know the symptoms of the disease, as reported by a YouGov poll.
For the poll 1,456 males were asked to list all of the prostate cancer symptoms that they are aware of. 68% of them said that they didn’t know any signs or symptoms whatsoever.
Even among older males, who are at a higher risk, 62% of males aged 50 to 59 didn’t know any symptoms, nor did 60% of 60 to 69-year-old males or 54% of 70 to 79-year-olds.
According to the NHS website, the signs of prostate cancer include urinating more often, usually during the night, needing to run to the toilet, a hard time starting to urinate (hesitancy), taking too long or straining to pee, a weak flow when peeing, feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied fully and blood in semen or blood in urine.
Signs that cancer might have spread include back and bone pain, pain in the testicles, a loss of appetite, as well as unintentional weight loss.
Despite male’s lack of knowledge about the signs and symptoms of the disease, 72% of them did say that they were “fairly” or “very” willing to have a routine prostate cancer test.
However, finding out that an exam of the prostate involves a physician inserting a finger into their rectum did cause this number to fall slightly. About one in five (22%) of the males who knew that having a rectal exam is the normal procedure for detecting the disease expressed an unwillingness have the exam done, while 6% stated that they were “not willing to have it done at all”.
The head of care at Prostate Cancer UK, Amy Rylance, stated: “Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in males, which makes it more concerning that most males are not aware of some basic facts regarding disease.”
“However, it is important to remember that prostate cancer does not usually have symptoms until it is already spread. This means males cannot afford to wait for signs before they act, and they should think about their risk instead.”
Author: Scott Dowdy