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Xray image of the prostate gland

Prostate cancer 'now most commonly diagnosed cancer in UK'

All men have a prostate gland, located beneath the bladder, between penis and rectum. The urethra tube runs out of the bladder passing through the centre of the prostate and then to the penis, providing a path for urination. The muscles of the prostate also help to expel sperm from the body. Understanding the location of this gland and functions is key to explaining symptoms of prostate cancer. Incontinence or sexual disfunction can sometimes be caused by prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer develops really slowly so there well be no signs for years. Symptoms usually only appear when the prostate gland is enlarged enough to obstruct or affect the urethra. When this happens urination becomes more difficult, more frequent, often the feeling that the bladder is not fully empty. 

Causes are largely unknown but there is key evidence to show that the risk is higher with age; most cases are in men of more than 50 years of age. Prostate cancer is also more prevalent in black men and less in Asian men. There does appear to be a genetic trait as men whose father or brother were affected are at a higher risk. This form of cancer is common. In UK around 48.600 men are diagnosed every year.

The prostate gland produces an enzyme called Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA for short, found in blood. PSA is only produced by prostate cells so measuring these is extremely helpful to diagnose issues including cancer.  Testing levels of PSA is not a conclusive diagnosis of prostate cancer. Follow up tests including MRI scan, bone scan, CT scan and further blood tests.
The good news is that the survival rate for prostate cancer, if caught early, is good.  Our Prostate PSA Blood Test will test your levels of PSA and allow you to monitor them. 
Generally for men with prostate cancer in England:
• more than 95 out of 100 (more than 95%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
• more than 85 out of 100 (more than 85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
• almost 80 out of 100 (almost 80%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more
 
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