What you need to know about prostate cancer

More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year Credit: Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate cancer in the most common cancer in men and more than 40,000 are diagnosed with it every year.

As ITV and Prostate Cancer UK team up to ask people to stand by the men in their lives and unite in the fight against the disease, we look at it in more detail:

What is the prostate gland?

  • Only men have a prostate gland

  • It is usually the size and shape of a walnut and lies underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra

  • Two out of three adults don't know what the prostate gland does

  • Its main job is to make semen, to carry sperm

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Most men with early prostate cancer do not have any symptoms but some may find they have changes in their urinary habits. These could include:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently, especially at night

  • Difficulty starting to urinate

  • A weak flow when urinating

  • Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating

For some men problems urinating could be a sign of a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate.

Less common symptoms include pain in the back and hips, blood in the urine or semen, erection difficulties

Learn more about symptoms connected to prostate problems here.

What should I do if I think I have a prostate problem?

It is advised that you visit your GP if you have urinary symptoms, are worried about prostate problems or are more at risk of getting prostate cancer.

Your GP will do a number of tests to determine if there is a prostate problem. These are likely to include:

  • A urine test to check for an infection

  • A blood test

  • A physical examination

  • If the results suggest there is a prostate problem your GP will make an appointment for you to see a doctor at a hospital for further tests.

Read more about testing for prostate cancer here.

Is there treatment available?

The treatment options depend on whether the cancer is contained within the prostate gland (localised), has spread to just outside the prostate (locally advanced) or has spread to other parts of the body (advanced).

A doctor or nurse will explain all the treatment options and help you choose the best one for you.

See a list of treatment options here.

For more information on prostate cancer visit Prostate Cancer UK.

Read about the Stand By Your Man Pledge here.