We are asking the men of Ireland to once again to Stand Up for Your Prostate. Get your PSA checked once you reach the age of 50 or at 45 if you have a family history of Prostate or Breast Cancer. It takes five minutes and could save your life.
1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. In Ireland 3,890 men will be diagnosed each year and rates of prostate cancer are higher in black men with 1 in 4 getting prostate cancer within their lifetime. However, when detected early, prostate cancer has very promising five-year survival rates of 94%. But like many other forms of cancer, these survival rates are all dependant on when the cancer is detected. Early detection saves lives, provided an opportunity for treatment choice overall and very importantly improves survival outcomes.
The Marie Keating Foundation is encouraging men to take action and be more proactive when it comes to their prostate health. Anyone born with a prostate should get to know the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, but also be very aware that there may not be any and seek information about a PSA blood test once they turn 50, or 40-45 with a family history of prostate cancer, or breast cancer. You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or your brother had it. Inherited genes especially BRCA 2, being overweight or obese can also be risk factors to be aware of.
Early prostate cancer is often present without any obvious symptoms. However, if you have any of the symptoms listed below, make an appointment with your doctor.
The challenge can be getting people to their GP to talk about their health in general, their prostate health in particular and the PSA blood test.
- Dysuria – difficulty and pain passing urine
- Urgency- difficult to postpone passing urine
- Frequency- going to the toilet more frequently than before
- Nocturia- getting up more than twice a night to pass urine
- Hesitancy- taking time to get going when passing urine
- Flow- has become weak or intermittent
- Incomplete emptying – feeling that the bladder has not emptied
- Blood-present in the urine
Less common symptoms include:
- Trouble having or keeping an erection
- Lower back pain or pain in hips or upper thighs.
Everyone can take a Stand this September. You either have a prostate or know someone who does. Support our campaign by wearing the Marie Keating Foundation 'Stand Up for Your Prostate' pin during Blue September, Movember or at any other time of the year.
A PSA or Prostate-specific antigen test is a simple blood test that monitors possible changes in your prostate which may need further investigations and follow up. By having regular PSA levels checked as instructed by your GP or Urologist, it can help to detect prostate problems or cancer in its earliest stages, even if you are experiencing no symptoms.
“All men, but especially those whose father, brother or grandfather had prostate cancer, need to engage in conversations earlier because we know that early cancer detection from the age of 40- 45 years of age onwards can save lives. A simple prostate blood test, the PSA, is the best way to assess your risk. 9 out of 10 men in Ireland diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland over the last 5 years, many with significant cancers, had no symptoms whatsoever (IPCOR data). Only the PSA test helped to identify their disease early. Do not wait for symptoms to develop. Urinary symptoms usually have nothing to do with prostate cancer. Know your number - know your PSA. The National diagnostic guidelines from the NCCP are a fantastic resource”
Mr. David Galvin, Urology Consultant at St. Vincent’s Hospital Group and the Mater Hospital
“Men typically get a bad reputation for not speaking about their health, but when resources and supports are put in place, we see that this is not the case. Our Stand Up for Your Prostate campaign is designed to give men an opening to speak about their health with others, and this can be exactly what some men need to go to their GP. Our message this year is a simple one, if you are 50, ask your GP to consider checking your PSA levels. If you are between 40-45 with a family history of prostate or breast cancer in the family, have that conversation. It could save your life.”
Helen Forristal, Urology Nurse Specialist and Director of Nursing Services at the Marie Keating Foundation
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