More than 49,000 men in the UK were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2018
The number of people diagnosed with various types of cancer continues to rise in the UK with 316,680 cases reported in 2018. Everyday there are around 868 people in the UK diagnosed with cancer. 1 in every 20 people, very high indeed!
According to Prostate Cancer UK, 1 in 8 men will suffer from prostate cancer at one point in their life. Data from 2018 showed that prostate cancer was the most common cancer in the UK with 49,029 cases followed by breast cancer with 47,476 cases. In that year, 11,819 men died from prostate cancer, one man every 44 minutes. A comparison study indicated that within a period of 17 years from 2001, the annual number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer rose by 50%.
What Is Prostate?
Prostate is a small gland with the size and shape of a walnut located between the bladder and the penis, in front of rectum. It produces a thick, white fluid that mixes with sperm to create semen during ejaculation. Prostate is a vital organ for male reproductive system.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer?
It is not known yet what causes prostate cancer, however, there are some factors that may increase the risk for prostate cancer such as:
1. Age. According to the data from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry in the US, more than 95% of prostate cancer cases were diagnosed in men age over 45. Although there have been some prostate cancer cases in younger men in their twenties and thirties, it seems that the risk for prostate cancer is increased with age.
2. Studies suggest that men who are overweight have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
3. Ongoing studies seem to show that a calcium-rich diet increases the risk for prostate cancer.
4. Men of African descent are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than other ethnic groups.
5. Men who have a father or brother who suffers from prostate cancer at the age below 60 or a mother or sister who suffers from breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
What Are The Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
At early stage, prostate cancer doesn't usually trigger any symptoms. When the cancer has grown reasonably large, it can trigger various symptoms such as:
1. Frequent and urgent need to pee particularly during the night.
2. Difficulties in peeing, a slow and weak flow.
3. Painful urination with burning sensation.
4. Blood in urine or semen.
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Men Over 45 Need To Get Their Prostate Checked Regularly
Due to the lack of symptoms at the early stage of prostate cancer, it is highly recommended for men age over 45 to get their prostate checked by the doctor at least once a year. As with other types of cancer, when detected at early stage, the survival chances are highest.
Men need to be aware that prostate cancer is different from prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is not cancer. Although both can have overlap symptoms, prostate cancer needs urgent medical treatment while prostate enlargement doesn't usually require immediate treatment up until a later stage. To be upfront, some men may experience erectile dysfunction due to prostate cancer treatment that I will explain in another article.
Dihydrotestosterone role in Prostate Enlargement
According to Harvard Medical School, dihydrotestosterone stimulates the growth of prostate cells. It is a major contributing factor for prostate enlargement in older men. More than 50% of men aged between 51 and 60 are suffering from prostate enlargement. The figure is even higher, up to around 90%, for men aged above 80. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is less likely to cause prostate enlargement in younger men, however, it can trigger male-pattern hair loss in some men as young as 20.
The Link Between Male Pattern Baldness and Risk for Prostate Cancer
A study in Australia involving 2,836 men (1,446 were diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70 and 1,390 were at the similar group of age and free of prostate cancer) suggested that men with vertex baldness, bald spots at the top of their heads, are 50% more likely to suffer from prostate cancer.
It appears that men who suffer from hair loss are at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer, nevertheless, further studies are still needed to find the more precise connection between male-pattern baldness and prostate cancer.
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Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA, UK and Singapore at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips.
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Scientific Sources: Testosterone, prostate cancer, and balding: Is there a link?, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, September 2015 (updated: 23-January-2017); Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs, Toxicology Research, 2014 Dec, 30(4): 297–304; Prostate overtakes breast as 'most common cancer', BBC, 27-01-2020; Prostate cancer now kills more people than breast cancer: cause for alarm?; The BMJ, 09-03-2018; The story behind the shock statistic: one man dies of prostate cancer every 45 minutes, Prostate Cancer UK, 04-01-2019; Testosterone and prostate cancer risk: the plot thickens as study reveals intriguing clues, Prostate Cancer UK; Prostate problems, NHS (UK); Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Are you at risk?, Prostate Cancer UK; Prostate Cancer, North Carolina Central Cancer Registry.