More than 80% of men will develop prostate cancer by the time they’re 80!
So it’s one of those topics most guys don’t like to talk about because it involves their “parts”. I’m sure most guys reading this haven’t sat around a table and spoken to their mates about prostate cancer, males are like that, we have too much pride and sometimes that pride will mean we end up 6ft under when it could have been avoided by one simple procedure.
Before we dig too deep into this topic let’s take a look at what the prostate is and where it’s located.
So what does the prostate do exactly? Well, it actually produces an alkaline type fluid which mixes with our sperm (roughly 30%). This fluid neutralises the acid in a females vagina which gives our little swimmers a chance to fertilise that glorious egg and create life….pretty crazy hey?
So why is it so important to get our prostate checked regularly when we’re over 45? Because most early stages of prostate cancer have NO SYMPTOMS! Yep, that’s right, you could have prostate cancer right now and you wouldn’t even know.
So what are the symptoms of a more advanced prostate cancer?
- Haematuria (blood in urine)
- Painful ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nocturia (increased urination at night)
- Blood in semen
- Painful urination
- Unable to maintain a steady stream
If you have ANY of these symptoms stop being a typical male and go see your GP ASAP! There are other things that can cause these symptoms as well so it may not even be prostate cancer.
When you see your GP they’ll usually do a few things.
- They’ll perform a physical examination of your prostate through your rectum.
- They’ll take blood.
- They’ll do a urine sample.
Now the first one on the list scared the shit out of most blokes, and that’s totally understandable! Who wants a finger stuck up their bum? But i ask you this, would you rather 30 seconds of discomfort or would you prefer to go home and tell your family that you’ll be dead in a few months because your ego got in the way of a proper prostate exam? I know which one i’d prefer!
They’ll also take blood and will be looking for a particular rise in an antigen which they call PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Unfortunately, this isn’t conclusive and a rise in PSA can be from any form of prostate issues including benign prostatic hyperplasia (basically an enlarged prostate not related to a carcinoma).
They’ll also usually do a urine test and look for a particular marker which may indicate prostate cancer as well.
So let’s say you decide to ignore the symptoms above and you, in fact, have prostate cancer. What would happen next? Most cases of early stage prostate cancer that are left untreated metastasize (spread) and end up in your pelvis, lower spine, ribs and eventually other organs. You’ll start getting faecally incontinent (no bowel control) and eventually you’ll die.
All because you didn’t want someone to stick their finger in your bum!
So. Man Up! Start talking about this with your friends and take steps to avoid becoming another statistic!