April 2, 2024

Importance of Early Detection and Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Men

Importance of Early Detection and Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Men

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. Along with lung and bowel cancer, it contributes to half of cancer fatalities in the UK (Cancer Research). 

While research shows that one in eight men are likely to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, it's highly treatable when caught in the early stages. 

In this guide, we'll explore the importance of early detection and treatment for prostate cancer in men so you know what to look for. 

The symptoms of prostate cancer 

Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland in the male reproductive system and usually grows gradually. 

Unfortunately, prostate cancer doesn't cause any symptoms in its earliest stages, and that's why regular health checks are essential for early detection. As the tumour grows, it begins to push on the urethra, causing a range of symptoms, including: 

  • An urgent need to urinate 
  • Getting up more frequently in the night
  • Feeling like your bladder never empties properly 
  • Challenges when trying to urinate, including straining 
  • A weak urine flow 
  • Blood in your semen and urine 

It's essential to remember that many men experience prostate issues as they age, and the above symptoms don't necessarily mean you have cancer. 

The symptoms of later-stage prostate cancer include: 

  • Problems achieving or sustaining an erection 
  • Pain in the back and testicles 
  • Bone pain 
  • Significant weight loss 
  • Loss of appetite 

The risk factors of prostate cancer 

There are few links to prostate cancer, but certain men might be more at risk of developing the condition. Certain ethnicities have a higher prevalence of the condition, and your genetics can also play a role. 


Prostate cancer is more common in black men, though why this happens is unclear. Research shows that black men are up to three times more likely to develop the condition than white men, and their mortality rates are 30% higher (NCBI). 

Asian men have the lowest incidences of prostate cancer, which could be partly due to dietary differences. 

Family background and genetics 

Individuals with a family history of prostate cancer might be at higher risk of the condition. If a close relative - including a brother, uncle, father and grandfather - receives a diagnosis of prostate cancer, you might need more frequent check-ups. 

Individuals with faulty BRCA 2 genes and Lynch syndrome also have higher risks of a range of cancers - including prostate. 

Environmental factors 

If you're overweight or obese, your chances of cancer increase. Obesity can also result in metastatic prostate cancer, but losing weight and getting plenty of exercise can help you maintain optimal health. 

Research also shows that males with high levels of pesticide exposure can have more risks of a prostate cancer diagnosis (PubMed). 

Diagnosing prostate cancer 

Diagnosing prostate cancer

As with all cancers, early detection ensures the best possible chance of recovery. Unfortunately, almost half of all cases are diagnosed in the later stages, putting men at risk of the cancer spreading. 

There are numerous ways to screen for prostate cancer, and attending regular health checks means your GP can monitor for any changes. 

Health checks 

If you notice any changes in your urinary habits, your GP will ask questions about your medical history, including any symptoms and whether cancer runs in your family. They might also perform a digital rectal exam to evaluate your prostate health. 

These exams let your GP feel the gland's size, shape and texture, highlighting any abnormalities. 

Blood tests 

Many men find digital exams uncomfortable, but blood tests are less intrusive and can flag any issues. The PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test measures for prostate issues by looking at PSA levels in your blood. 

While these tests don't mean you have prostate cancer, they do highlight issues with your prostate that will require more testing. Getting in touch with a clinic specialising in male therapy can help you access these blood tests. 

Further examinations

If the initial checks show abnormalities with the prostate gland, your specialist will send you for a biopsy, which can diagnose cancer. Other options for diagnosing prostate cancer include CT and MRI scans. 

If your specialist suspects the cancer has spread to other areas of your body, they'll conduct further tests. 

Why is early detection essential for positive treatment outcomes?

As with all cancers, receiving a diagnosis in the early stages increases your chances of survival. While early-stage prostate cancer is highly treatable, it gets more challenging in the later stages as the chances of metastatic cancer increase. 

Nobody wants to fear their health, but getting help as soon as you notice any symptoms could save your life. 

Survival rates

When caught early, prostate cancer has some of the highest survival rates. According to NICE, 95% of people with stage one to three prostate cancer will survive at least five years after their initial diagnosis. 

Individuals with stage 4 cancer of the prostate have five-year survival rates of just 49%. 

Treatment options 

Early-stage prostate cancers are easier to treat, with some men having surgery or radiotherapy. Active surveillance is also possible, which allows doctors to monitor the cancer and take action when it grows. 

If the cancer spreads to other areas, specialists often have to use extreme treatment options, which cause a range of side effects. In worst-case scenarios, palliative care might be the only option available. 

Fewer complications 

Some cancer treatments cause adverse effects in people, including hair loss and ongoing nausea. For example, immunotherapy is a powerful treatment for advanced cancers, but it causes flu-like symptoms and increases the risk of arthritis. 

Surgery and radiotherapy cause fewer side effects, and most people can continue their daily activities. 

The bottom line 

Prostate cancer can have a devastating impact on your life, but understanding the signs and attending regular health checks can ensure a speedy diagnosis. With proper treatment and a proactive approach, you can recover from prostate cancer and enjoy a full life. 

The Eden Clinic offers a range of diagnostic tests and health checks designed to give you peace of mind. Our proactive team of specialists will examine your symptoms, provide advice, and perform blood tests that flag up issues with your prostate. 

Please feel free to book an appointment today and make health worries a thing of yesterday.

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