The majority of men do not know any symptoms of prostate cancer, a new poll has found.
A survey for YouGov showed men were generally unable to identify any signs, which include the need to urinate more frequently (often during the night), needing to rush to the toilet, and having difficulty in starting to urinate or having weak urine flow.
Other symptoms include the feeling that the bladder has not emptied fully and blood in the urine or semen.
Signs that the cancer is at a more advanced stage can include bone and back pain, loss of appetite, testicular pain and unintentional weight loss.
Of the 1,456 men surveyed, some 68% of respondents did not know any symptoms of prostate cancer.
Even among older men, who are most at risk, 62% aged between 50 and 59 did not know any signs, nor did 60% of 60 to 69-year-olds and 54% of 70 to 79-year-olds.
Only one in eight men (13%), meanwhile, spotted the most recognised symptom, which is having to – or feeling the need to – urinate more frequently.
Overall, one in five men have had a prostate check with a medic, with men more likely to have an examination as they get older.
Many are reluctant to get checked out, however, with almost one in five (18%) of all men saying they are “not very” or “not at all” willing to take such a test, including the 6% who said they definitely would not have one at all.
The poll found that many men were aware that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (59%) and that prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men.
However, just over one in three (35%) knew that genetics plays a role, with men more likely to develop the cancer if a male relative has previously done so.
Furthermore, just 11% knew that prostate cancer does not necessarily require immediate treatment once discovered.
Amy Rylance, head of improving care at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, which makes it especially concerning that most men aren’t aware of some basic facts about the disease.
“However, it’s important to note that prostate cancer doesn’t usually have symptoms until it’s already spread. This means men can’t afford to wait for symptoms before they act and should consider their risk instead.
“Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk is higher for black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer over 45.
“These men should consider speaking to their GP about the pros and cons of a PSA test.”
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