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Prostate cancer health centre

Prostate cancer overview

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men in the UK. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland grow out of control. There are often no early prostate cancer symptoms, but some men have urinary symptoms and discomfort. Prostate cancer treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiotherapy. In some instances, doctors recommend watchful waiting.

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Is monitoring prostate cancer as effective as treatment?

A major UK study has found that 99% of men whose prostate cancer is detected at an early stage live for at least 10 years whether the condition is treated or if doctors carry out 'active surveillance'.

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Prostate cancer - the basics

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, making up more than a quarter of all cancers in men.



More than 43,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and it results in around 10,800 deaths.



Prostate cancer is more common in men over 65 and in black African-Caribbean men.



More than 8 out of 10 men in England with prostate cancer survive for 5 years or more.



Prostatecancer is usually slow to develop and it may be some years before symptoms are experienced, such as difficulty urinating.



There is no NHS screening programme for prostate cancer because the PSA blood test used to help detect it can sometimes wrongly suggest that healthy men with no symptoms or risk factors have cancer.



If the results of a PSA test suggest possible prostate cancer other tests are used to confirm the diagnosis.



Depending on how advanced the cancer is, men may be offered a range of treatments, or forms of monitoring called watchful waiting or active surveillance.

The prostate

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that produces the majority of fluid that makes up semen, the thick fluid that carries sperm. The walnut-sized gland is located beneath a man's bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. Prostate function is regulated by testosterone, a male sex hormone produced mainly in the testicles.

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