1. ITV Report

Men At Risk: Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men Photo: ITV West

Prostate cancer is a cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. The cancer itself is usually symptomless, but there are signs to look out for which may indicate aproblem. These include having to rush to the toilet, difficulty in passing urine or doing so more often usually at night. Problems during sex and erectile dysfunction. But what causes it?

"One of the things that is unique to a man versus a woman is testosterone. Now there's lots of discussions about whether testosterone actually causes prostate cancer but it certainly ispermissive, it allows it to happen. Then lots of other factors come into play and you can have things like genetics and family history and environmental factors, diet and smoking comes into it as well"

– Anthony Koupparis, Consultant surgeon, Southmead Hospital

In the UK about one in nine men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Identifying them in the early stages of the disease with a simple blood test called a PSA test is key to a successful outcome. More than nine out of 10 prostate cancer patients can be cured.

More than nine out of 10 patients can be cured Credit: ITV West

"To give you an idea before PSA blood testing men used to present with very advanced cancers that were incurable. There has been a complete stage change in the way people present. Twenty, 30 year ago it was an incurable disease Now the vast majority present at an early stage. Better to have the chat than to ignore it"

– Anthony Koupparis, Consultant surgeon, Southmead Hospital

The treatments available will depend on several factors: the prostate cancer grade and stage, age,fitness, lifestyle and medical history. Some men live with prostate cancer for decades without needingtreatment. Many men die with prostate cancer, rather than as a result of it. But early detection can save lives. More information here.