Prostate cancer affects 1 in 8 men and is the most common cancer affecting men in the UK. Did you know:
- Over 45,000 men are diagnosed each year
- 250,000 UK males are currently living with the disease
- African Caribbean men are 3 times more likely than white men to develop prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancers can be fast or slow growing, slow is more common and may not cause any symptoms.
What causes Prostate cancer?
It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer but certain factors increase your risk of developing the disease. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50 and you are 2.5 times more likely to develop the condition if a close relative (father or brother) has been diagnosed with it.
Your check for prostate cancer
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein made by the prostate gland that naturally leaks into the blood stream. Your check involves a simple blood test and the results will be analysed for your PSA levels.
Sometimes a raised PSA level can be a sign of prostate cancer. However, more often it is caused by something less serious such as an inflamed prostate (prostatitis) or an enlargement of the prostate gland that comes on with ageing (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH).
In order that you’re fully aware of the benefits and limitations of this test, you are advised to discuss with your health screening specialist whether it’s right for you.
If detected early, there is a very high survival percentage but although prostate cancer strikes as many men as breast cancer does women, it lacks the same level of national awareness and research funding.
How to prepare
You do not need to fast prior to your test but you are advised to wear loose fitting clothing as we will need to take a blood sample.
You should not participate in sexual activity that involves ejaculation for 48 hours prior to your test nor should you participate in vigorous exercises that could also stimulate the prostate – for example cycling or horse-riding.
You should not have a PSA test if you have a Urinary Tract Infection and should not have a PSA test within 7 days of a digital rectal examination.
We also recommend you read this guidance about the PSA test to ensure you understand the benefits and limitations of the test. The PSA test is not suitable for men under the age 40 and over the age of 79. Some men with prostate cancer will not have raised PSA levels – equally, raised PSA levels is not a definite indication of prostate cancer. If your PSA levels are raised, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of prostate cancer, we would always advise you visit your GP for further investigation.
How much does it cost?
Your check for Prostate cancer costs £49 – book online today.
If you’re interested in a full package of cancer screening tests, find out about our Early Cancer Risk Review package.