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Early detection is key this Movember

‘Movember’ is an annual event which is about raising awareness of men's health. There is a focus on cancers which affect men, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's mental health.

Doctors at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are reminding local men the importance of having an assessment for prostate cancer if they are showing any symptoms.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50 and increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

If detected early, prostate cancer survival rates are better than 98%. Finding it later, can mean the survival rates drop below 26%, so men are urged to know the facts and take action early.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • needing to rush to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • blood in urine or blood in semen

It is likely that you may have these symptoms but they do not always mean you have prostate cancer. Many men's prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement.

If you notice any changes you should contact your GP for a consultation, or for a confidential talk call the National Orchid Male Cancer Helpline on 0808 802 0010. This free service operates between Monday and Wednesday during the hours of 10am-5pm.  

Dr Neil Smith, GP lead for cancer at the CCGs, said:

 “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The majority of men who are diagnosed with the condition go on to live for over five years.

“If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer visit your GP for a check-up and to see if you need a prostate examination and blood test.”

For more information and to find out what help is available, visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk.   

Alternatively, you can visit the Orchid cancer charity website to find out how they aim to raise awareness of the condition and how you can get involved