Being aware of male cancer can save lives

Published: Monday 17th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Each year, over 50,000 UK men are diagnosed with male-specific cancers, such as testicular, penile and prostate cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, these figures are increasing. By 2027, it is estimated that 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer. A shocking figure, we’re sure you’ll agree.

This is due to the fact that we are living longer than men did previously. Age is a huge risk factor when it comes to cancer.

There is some good news, however, in that more men are surviving. This is because more of them are catching the signs early.

The signs of prostate cancer

The most common cancer in men in the UK is prostate cancer. There are 40,000 men diagnosed each year.

The cancer develops slowly, and so you may not even begin to get symptoms for years.

Signs include an increased need to urinate and the feeling that your bladder is not fully emptied after urinating. You may notice yourself getting up in the night to go to the toilet, or a sudden urge to pass urine when there was no warning before.

This is because the prostate swells to press against the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder to the penis.

Other symptoms include blood in your urine or semen and erection problems.

It’s important to remember that these signs aren’t exclusive to cancer. It could just be a sign of old age. However, it is still vital to see your GP if you have any concerns.

Symptoms of penile cancer

Cancer of the penis is less common and classed as a rare type of cancer by the NHS. It occurs on the skin of the penis or within the organ.

Roughly 550 men are diagnosed every year with penile cancer in the UK. Over the past three decades, however, the number of cases has increased by over 20%.

Knowing the signs of penile cancer can increase the chances of successful treatment. Growths or sores on the penis are a common sign, especially if they have not healed within a month.

Bleeding and a foul smelling discharge is another symptom. Meanwhile, you may notice a change in the colour or thickness of your penis or foreskin. A rash on the area can also indicate cancer of the penis.

Again, seeing your GP about any worries is crucial. It is likely that your problem will be unrelated to cancer, but it is definitely best to make sure.

Catching testicular cancer early

Cancer of the testicle affects men mainly between the age of 15 and 49. Checking them regularly can help you to spot the signs and get treatment as early as possible.

Orchid is a charity that researches male cancer. It also runs a national helpline on 0808 802 0010 for anyone who needs advice on these conditions.

According to Orchid, over 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK each year. The good news is that if caught at an early stage, cure rates of approximately 98% are usually possible.

The primary sign is a painless lump or swelling in one of the organs. It could be the size of a pea, so be sure to pay close attention. In the meantime, those with testicular cancer may also experience a dull ache in the scrotum or a feeling of heaviness.

Comparing the two testicles may be of use. If you notice one looks or feels different from the other, you should get checked out. For example, one may feel more firm or have a different texture.

It is also essential to know what is normal for you and your body. If you notice any changes, consult your doctor.

Find out more about male cancer on the NHS website. Additionally, visit the Orchid website to find out about the organisation’s important work.

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Published: Monday 17th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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