PROSTATE CANCER: Eight Facts You Need to Know

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Simply put, we always feel women go through tough things during the health life cycle. We endure smears, breast checks, and childbirth. But, what about our beloved counter parts, our men?

Well, sure they don’t go through childbirth, and there is little that makes them susceptible to awkward experiences at the doctors, but there is one special organ that carries great responsibility: the prostate gland.

The prostate gland is the size of a walnut, designed for the production of semen, the fluid medium that serves as transportion and nutrition for sperm.

Our men pay a visit to the family doctor every year from the age of 50 to check if this amazing organ is working well without any troubles. The guidelines on how to assess the prostate gland have changed recently and while most GPs are happy with a blood test level (PSA — prostate specific antigen), some would rather do a rectal examination too.

If you are in your 50s and have decided to opt out from having visiting your GP, maybe what follows will make you think again:

  1. In New Zealand, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  2. We have 3,000 registrations each year, and 600 deaths from prostate cancer alone.
  3. Men who develop prostate cancer are mostly over the age of 65 (it is rare under 55).
  4. One in 13 men will develop prostate cancer before the age of 75.
  5. A family history of prostate cancer puts you at higher risk.
  6. Testosterone is linked with prostrate cancer.
  7. Difficulty in passing urine is the most common early symptom.
  8. It is silent at first, but once spread, bone pain is likely.

Remember, you are the only one who can change your life, your health and your future. You have the power to act. If you ever experience any symptoms such as difficulty in passing urine, bone pain, or tiredness, then see your GP immediately.

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Words: Dr. Maria Reeves

Dr Maria Reeves

Claris Group

Building 1 Level 1 | Constellation Drive | Rosedale

093204416 | 021377116 | info@claris.co.nz

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