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This article is from the WebMD Feature Archive

Cancer symptoms men shouldn't ignore

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Men often put off going to the doctor.

It could be because they're too busy, can't get time off work or perhaps they don't want to make a fuss.

Sometimes though it's a case of burying their heads in the sand, preferring to ignore any potential symptoms with the hope they'll go away.

But if you do have any symptoms which may point to cancer, spotting them early can be a life-saver.

When cancer's found early there are more options for treatment and a better chance of a cure.

Cancer Research UK says that more than one in three men in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

The three most common cancers affecting men in the UK are prostate, lung and bowel cancer.

So it's best to get symptoms checked out ASAP, even if it's just to put your mind at rest.

Cancer symptom 1: Urinary Problems

Some men do have problems passing urine as they get older but if you feel the need to go for a pee more frequently, maybe a couple of times during the night, or experience discomfort, it's best to check it out.

There's a chance it could be a symptom of prostate cancer, but as specialist nurse at Prostate Cancer UK, Meg Burgess says: "The thing with early prostate cancer is that there aren't always any symptoms."

Even so she says: "If you experience pain, or you find it difficult to start to pass water or have a weak or slow flow, you may have a problem with your prostate. In most cases it's likely to be what's called a benign enlargement or an infection but in some cases it could be prostate cancer."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer is men, affecting forty thousand a year in the UK.

There is a test called a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test which measures the level of PSA in your blood.

It can't tell you if you have prostate cancer. It's a test for abnormalities of the prostate, which may or may not be cancer.

The Department of Health says any man over 50 who would like the PSA test can contact their GP who will then discuss the pros and cons of the test with them and be offered it.

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