Prostate disease and prostate cancer are diseases that are not often talked about and the symptoms are not very well known, although this is slowly improving. If you don’t know what the symptoms are or even where the prostate is located then you’re certainly not alone. In a recent survey in the UK (by Olympus Medical)  over 50% of men over 55 years surveyed didn’t know the symptoms of prostate disease and where the prostate is located.

Be able to recognise the symptoms

Hesitancy Standing waiting before urine starts to flow
Frequency Passing urine more often than before
Intermittent stream Stopping and starting when passing urine
Straining Having to push to get urine starting to flow
Weak or poor stream Weak, dribbly flow of urine and taking longer to empty the bladder
Dribbling After you think you’re finished a little more urine dribbles out and you have no control over this
Urgency Having to get the toilet fast and not being able to wait
Nocturia Having to pass urine several times during the night

Get to know what your symptoms are

Now that you are more aware of what the symptoms are you are probably in a better position to recognise any symptoms that you have. Most likely you will not have all the symptoms, some you will notice more than others. For a few days, it may be helpful to pay a bit more attention to any symptoms, perhaps noting things such as how often you are passing urine during the day and how many times you are up during the night. You may like to do the symptom self-test which will give an indication as to the severity of the symptoms but not a diagnosis.

You have noticed that you have symptoms

The symptoms given above are common to all 3 prostate diseases – benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis and prostate cancer. In fact some other diseases and infections can also give some similar symptoms so it is best to wait and speak with your GP before jumping to any conclusions. You should also know that being diagnosed with BPH or prostatitis does not necessarily mean that you will develop prostate cancer.

What about screening

Currently there is no screening programme in the UK for prostate cancer. The bowel screening test (taking stool samples over a few days) does not test for prostate cancer.

What to do now

The best thing you can do if you’re worried about signs or symptoms and whether it is prostate disease or prostate cancer is to make an appointment to see your GP. Many men, even when they have symptoms, put off seeing their GP for a variety of reasons. In fact, government figures show that it can be around 60 days from men first noticing symptoms to making an appointment to see their GP. However the quicker that symptoms are noticed, an appointment arranged, diagnosis made and treatment, if any, started then the better the outcome is likely to be.

Our quick guide, Men and their plumbing BPH will give you more information on your prostate and possible symptoms of prostate disease.

To find out more, visit our resources section for simple guides to prostate disease.

Please note we are sorry but Prostate Scotland  is unable to answer any individual personal medical questions, recommend which treatments might be suitable for an individual or recommend individual medical care or health professionals