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23 September, 2020 (All day)

Studies show that Europeans are not getting enough exercise. Obesity and disease are at an all-time high. The European Week of Sport aims to help people become more active.

There has been a large rise in interest in gardening since lockdown began.

7 September, 2020 (All day)

Organ Donation Week is a great opportunity for donor families, transplant patients, the wider NHS and organisations to reinforce the importance of organ donation.

 

Dear Colleague,

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Dealing with my diagnosis

If you’ve just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you might feel scared, worried, stressed or even angry. Your feelings may change over time. There’s no right way to feel and everyone reacts in their own way.

When you’re told you have cancer, it can be a shock and you might find it difficult to take everything in and cope with the information. Thinking about your cancer and possible treatments can be stressful and you may have lots of questions.

You may feel anxious about the future and how having prostate cancer will affect your life and your loved ones.

There are people who are there to support you and there are things you can do to help yourself. Families can also find this a difficult time and they may need support too.

How you can help yourself

Everyone has their own way of dealing with prostate cancer, but you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.

Depending on your results, your cancer might be treated as:

There are different treatment options for each stage of prostate cancer.

Look into your treatment options

Find out about the different treatments that you could have. Bring a list of questions to your doctor or nurse. And ask about any side effects so you know what to expect and how to manage them. This will help you decide what’s right for you.

Talk to someone

Share what you’re thinking – find someone you can talk to. It could be someone close or someone trained to listen, like a counsellor or your doctor or nurse. People involved in your care should be able to help with any questions or concerns you might have.

Set yourself some goals

Set yourself goals and things to look forward to – even if they’re just for the next few weeks or months.

Look after yourself

Take time out to look after yourself. When you feel up to it, learn some techniques to manage stress and to relax – like breathing exercises or listening to music. If you're having difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor or nurse.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

We don’t know for sure if any specific foods have an effect on prostate cancer. But eating well can help you stay a healthy weight, which may be important for men with prostate cancer. It’s also good for your general health and can help you feel more in control. Certain changes to your diet may also help with some side effects of treatment. 

Be as active as you can

Keeping active can improve your physical strength and fitness, and can lift your mood. We don’t know for sure if physical activity can also help with some side effects of treatment. Even a small amount can help. Take things at your own pace. 

Who can help?

Your medical team

It could be useful to speak to your nurse, doctor, GP or anyone in your medical team. They can explain your diagnosis, treatment and side effects, listen to your concerns, and put you in touch with others who can help.

Our Specialist Nurses

Our Specialist Nurses can help with any questions and explain your diagnosis and treatment options. They have time to listen, in confidence, to any concerns you or those close to you have.

 

Contact our Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383

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The PSA Test

What is the PSA test?

The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. It’s normal to have a small amount of PSA in your blood, and the amount rises slightly as you get older and your prostate gets bigger. A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer.

You can have a PSA test at your GP surgery. You will need to discuss it with your GP first. At some GP surgeries you can discuss the test with a practice nurse, and they can do a test if you decide you want one.

Who can have a PSA test?

You have the right to a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test if you’re over 50 and you’ve thought carefully about the advantages and disadvantages. If you’re over 45 and have a higher risk of prostate cancer, for example if you’re black or you have a family history of it, you might want to talk to your GP about having a PSA test.

It’s important to think about whether the PSA test is right for you before you decide whether or not to have one. There are a number of things you might want to think about.

Your GP or practice nurse may not recommend the PSA test if you don’t have any symptoms, and you have other serious health problems that mean you might not be fit enough for treatment for prostate cancer, or if treatment for prostate cancer wouldn’t help you to live longer. But if you have symptoms of a possible prostate problem, your GP may arrange for you to see a specialist at the hospital.

Some men are offered a PSA test as part of a general check-up. You should still think about the advantages and disadvantages of the test and whether it is right for you before agreeing to have one.

What if my doctor doesn't want to do a PSA test?

We know that some men having trouble getting a PSA test. There are a number of things you can do if you can't get a PSA test.

What can the PSA test tell me?

A raised PSA level can be a sign of a problem with your prostate. This could be:

  • an enlarged prostate
  • prostatitis
  • prostate cancer.

Other things can also cause men's PSA levels to rise. If you have a raised PSA level, your GP might do other tests to find out what’s causing it, or they may refer you to see a specialist at the hospital.

The PSA test and prostate cancer

A raised PSA level can be a sign of prostate cancer. But many men with raised PSA levels don’t have prostate cancer. And some men with a normal PSA level do have prostate cancer.

You may be more likely to get prostate cancer if:

  • you are aged 50 or over, or
  • your father or brother has had it, or
  • you are black.

To decide whether you need to see a specialist, your GP will look at more than just your PSA level. They will also look at your risk of prostate cancer and whether you've had a prostate biopsy in the past. They may also do a digital rectal examination (DRE) to check if your prostate feels normal.

Having a PSA test

You can have a PSA test at your GP surgery. Your GP or practice nurse might talk to you about having a PSA test if you have symptoms such as problems urinating, if you’re worried about prostate problems, or if you’re at higher risk of getting prostate cancer.

Your GP or practice nurse should talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of the PSA test before you decide to have one. They will also discuss your own risk of getting prostate cancer, and ask about any symptoms you might have.

Your GP or practice nurse will also talk to you about your general health and any other health problems. They might recommend not having a PSA test if you don’t have any symptoms and you have other serious health problems that mean you might not be fit enough for treatment for prostate cancer, or if treatment for prostate cancer wouldn’t help you to live longer.

If you decide you want a PSA test, your GP or practice nurse will take a sample of your blood and send it to a laboratory to be tested. The amount of PSA in your blood is measured in nanograms (a billionth of a gram) per millilitre of blood (ng/ml).

Your GP may also do a digital rectal examination (DRE), also known as a physical prostate exam, and a urine test to rule out a urine infection.

 

Contact our Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383

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Am I at risk of prostate cancer?

In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. We don't know exactly what causes prostate cancer but there are some things that may mean you are more likely to get it – these are called risk factors.

There are three main risk factors for getting prostate cancer, which are things you can't change. These are:

  • getting older – it mainly affects men aged 50 or over
  • having a family history of prostate cancer
  • being black.

If you have any of these risk factors or if you have any symptoms, speak to your GP. They can talk to you about your risk, and about the tests that are used to diagnose prostate cancer. You can also get in touch with our Specialist Nurses, who can help you understand your risk of prostate cancer.

Age

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases as you get older. The most common age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. If you’re under 50, your risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is very low, but it is possible.

If you're over 50 and you're worried about your risk of prostate cancer, you might want to ask your GP about tests for prostate cancer. If you're over 45 but have a higher risk of prostate cancer – because you have a family history of prostate cancer or you're a black man – you might want to talk to your GP too.

Our Specialist Nurses can also help you understand your risk of getting prostate cancer.

Family history and genetics

Your family history is information about any health problems that have affected your family. Families have many common factors, such as their genes, environment and lifestyle. Together, these factors can help suggest if you are more likely to get some health conditions.

Inside every cell in our body is a set of instructions called genes. These are passed down (inherited) from our parents. Genes control how the body grows, works and what it looks like. If something goes wrong with one or more genes (known as a gene fault or mutation), it can sometimes cause cancer.

Is prostate cancer hereditary?

If people in your family have prostate cancer or breast cancer, it might increase your own risk of getting prostate cancer. This is because you may have inherited the same faulty genes.

My father had prostate cancer. What are my risks?

  • You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it, compared to a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.
  • Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be even greater if your father or brother was under 60 when he was diagnosed, or if you have more than one close relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer.
  • Your risk of getting prostate cancer may also be higher if your mother or sister has had breast cancer.

Although prostate cancer can run in families, having a family history doesn’t mean you will get it. But it's important to speak to your GP if you have any relatives with prostate cancer or breast cancer, as your risk of hereditary prostate cancer may be higher.

Do you have a family history of prostate cancer?

If you're over 45 and your father or brother has had prostate cancer, you may want to talk to your GP. Our Specialist Nurses can also help you understand your hereditary risk of prostate cancer.

Black men

Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men. We don’t know why, but it might be linked to genes. In the UK, about 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.*

If you have mixed black ethnicity, you are likely to be at higher risk of prostate cancer than a white man. But we don’t know your exact risk because we don’t have enough information on prostate cancer in men with mixed black ethnicity. And we don’t know whether it makes a difference if it’s your mother or father who is black.

If you're a black man and you're over 45, speak to your GP about your risk of prostate cancer, even if you don't have any symptoms. Remember to tell them if you have a family history of prostate cancer or breast cancer. You can also contact our Specialist Nurses.

Contact our Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383

 

 

 

 

 

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Know your prostate - A quick guide

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland. It is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine (wee) out of the body. The prostate’s main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.

Who has a prostate?

The following people have a prostate:

  • men
  • trans women
  • non-binary people who were assigned male at birth
  • some intersex people.

What can go wrong?

The most common prostate problems are:

  • an enlarged prostate
  • prostatitis
  • prostate cancer.

To learn more, click on the link below to view and download the guide

Know your prostate - A quick guide

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