Why early signs of prostate cancer aren’t as clear as men think: Doctors warn an NHS focus on urinary symptoms could hamper disease diagnosis
- ‘No Evidence of Causation’ Between Prostate Cancer and Difficulty Urinating
- But official health advice often promotes the ‘giving men a false sense of security’ link
- Researchers want to spread the word that many men have no symptoms at first
An NHS focus on male urinary tract symptoms could hamper efforts to detect prostate cancer early, doctors warn.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge said there is “no evidence of a causal relationship” between prostate cancer and prostate size or difficulty urinating.
However, official health advice often promotes this link, which can give men a false sense of security, the experts add.
They want to raise awareness that the disease may have no symptoms in its early stages and say more men should sign up for tests.
The main symptom given on the NHS prostate cancer website is ‘having to urinate more often, often at night’, followed by ‘need to go to the toilet quickly’ and ‘difficulty starting to urinate’.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge said there is ‘no evidence of a causal link’ between prostate cancer and prostate size or difficulty urinating (stock image)
Researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, argue that the “strong public perception” that urinary tract symptoms in men are an important indicator of prostate cancer “may seriously hinder efforts to encourage early presentation.”
It continues: ‘We are advocating a strong clear message that prostate cancer is a silent disease, especially in the curable stages, and that men should come for testing whether they have symptoms or not.’
Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam, from the University of Cambridge, said: ‘We urgently need to recognize that the information currently being given to the public gives men a false sense of security if they do not have urinary symptoms.
‘We must emphasize that prostate cancer can be a silent or asymptomatic disease, especially in the curable stages.
A spokesperson for the NHS said: ‘The NHS has seen a record number of men being checked for prostate cancer thanks to its life-saving awareness campaign and continues to remind men that prostate cancer may not have symptoms but it is important that people come at higher risk. forward for checks.
‘Using the Prostate Cancer UK risk checker, as more than half a million people have already done, will help men better understand their risk and where to go for more advice.’
A new MRI scan could reduce the number of men having biopsies by 90 percent, says Prostate Cancer UK. It gives an indication of cell size, density and blood vessels in the prostate to better identify cancer, say researchers from University College London.
The three risk factors for prostate cancer to watch out for
Become older – it mainly affects men aged 50 and over and the risk increases with age. The most common age at which a man is diagnosed is between 65 and 69 years of age.
Having a family history of prostate cancer – men are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer if their father or brother is diagnosed.
ethnicity. About one in four black men in the UK will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime and their risk may increase after the age of 45.
A man with any of these three risk factors — or symptoms — should talk to their primary care physician. The primary care physician can talk about an individual’s risk and the tests that may be done to diagnose prostate cancer.