Prostate Buddies D&G are not qualified Doctors or Specialists in Urology or Oncology, but we can direct you below to some of the major official charity sites where you can read, at your own pace, all the information available to help you understand and come to terms with your recent diagnosis.
Awareness / What is the Prostate?
Ever wondered what the prostate gland is, where it is and what it does? Do you or someone you know think there might be a problem with the prostate but are not quite sure what this means, what the symptoms are and what to do about it?
A recent UK survey found that more than half of men aged over 55 were unaware of the main symptoms of prostate problems. If you don’t know what it is, where it is or what it does, you’re certainly not alone so read on!
Only men have a prostate. When born, the prostate starts out about the size of a pea then slowly grows to the size of a walnut, until the man is in his twenties.
Around the age of forty, the prostate starts to grow or enlarge again and this may cause problems for the man when passing urine.
What is Prostate Cancer and Prostate Disease?
1 in 8 men in Scotland will be affected by Prostate Cancer but nearly 1 in 2 men, will be affected by Prostate Disease in their lifetime, however, every man is different so we would advise you not “Google” your symptoms or your condition – instead, follow the links below for official guidance from the people who know.
A partner’s guide to Prostate Cancer
We all know how supportive our partners can be in our lives, but when you are diagnosed with a serious condition that only affects men, how does the partner in your life respond? How do you persuade your man to talk to his doctor about prostate health? You know him best, and you can probably think of the best way to gently twist his arm especially when it’s a subject that he may be too embarrassed to mention to you. If you need a few tips, here are some ideas that other partners have found useful!
- Leave medical information leaflets lying around where he is likely to find them i.e. in the bathroom or near the remote.
- Use friend’s experiences as examples of when a trip to the GP resulted in peace of mind or a successful outcome.
- Tug at his heart strings i.e.“Do it for me/us/the family”
- Compare it to breast checks. Women are used to going for regular breast check-ups so going for a prostate check can be his equivalent.
- Book a double appointment with the GP for a check-up for both of you, and tell him he’s going with you.
Ok I persuade him to go to the GP, what happens next?
Is your man good about staying healthy? Like most men he will only visit his GP as a last resort. Probably he treats his body like his car and only seeks attention when it breaks down! Whether a partner, daughter, mother or just a friend, you’ll appreciate how difficult it can be to persuade a man to go for a health check up. But as he becomes older it becomes even more necessary. With your help, any signs of prostate problems can be detected as soon as possible, which greatly improves the chances of successful diagnosis & treatment.
As men get older, they become more prone to developing an enlarged prostate. This can cause a variety of urinary problems. Many of the symptoms of prostatic diseases, cancerous and benign, overlap. Although it is likely that men with early prostate cancer will have no symptoms, if your man has experienced any of the following problems, he should consult his doctor immediately: Things to spot:
- Does he sometimes pass urine when he doesn’t expect to?
- Does he pass urine two or more times during the night?
- Is he bursting to go and finds he barely produces a trickle?
- Does he have poor flow, hesitancy a feeling of still wanting to empty after he has finished?
- Does he have any discomfort such as pain or burning sensation when he passes urine?
- Has there ever been blood in his urine?
- Does he experience back pain?
- Does he experience problems with erection?
If any of these sounds familiar don’t delay! Get him to see your GP for a P.S.A. Test.
What is a P.S.A.Test?
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein that comes from prostatic tissue, and its level can be checked via a blood test. It is useful in telling doctors which treatments may benefit patients with non-cancerous and cancerous prostate diseases, who needs to be examined further for prostate cancer, and for monitoring treatment for prostate cancer.
The test works by measuring out the amount of the protein in the blood. As an increased level of the protein can be found as a consequence of a number of reasons such as age, non-cancerous prostatic growths and urinary infections, a high PSA does not always mean the presence of prostate cancer.
A PSA test may detect prostate cancer at an early stage when it can be detected by no other means, and even when there are no other symptoms at all. However, not all men who have a raised PSA level will have prostate cancer. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, the PSA test can be very valuable in monitoring the condition as well as the response to all forms of treatment.
For more information on P.S.A. download the information leaflet from the link here.
Prostate Scotland Symptom Checker
Do you have concerns about the number of times you need to visit the toilet during the day/night, what happens when you get there and what it all means? Then try the Prostate Scotland Symptom Checker and get the advice you need.