What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland usually the size of a walnut and can continue to grow as you get older. It is positioned underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra (this is also known as the water pipe). The Urethra carries urine out of the body. The prostate main function is to help make semen which is the fluid that carries sperm and assists with urinary continence.
This diagram shows where the prostate gland is situated:
As men get older, the prostate gland increases in size. Many men will develop a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis. BPH and prostatitis is not cancer.
Diagnosing prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It is usually diagnosed in men over 65. Prostate cancer can affect younger men, but it is uncommon in men under 50.
Men who have symptoms usually begin by seeing their GP, where they may have a couple of tests:
- PSA Blood test
- Digital rectal examination (DRE)
Once referred to see a Urologist or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at the hospital. There you may undergo a number of tests and investigations, such as:
- MRI, CT or Bone scan
- Trans-rectal ultrasound scan biopsy (TRUS)
- Blood tests
Treatments for prostate cancer
There are a number of treatments for prostate cancer, dependant on the type and grade of cancer:
- Active surveillance (regular blood tests)
- Surgery – Prostatectomy (removal of the prostate)
- Hormone therapy
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer may be referred to other hospitals in the area for treatment.
Below you will find some useful information regarding prostate cancer. You can navigate your way around these websites in your own time.
This website provides a lot of information regarding prostate cancer diagnostics, investigations, treatments, side effects, emotional support and further support available.
BAUS (British Association of Urologists)