A major health charity believes that men in the UK are ignorant of the prostate gland and the dangers related to it.
Prostate Cancer UK points out that the prostate is the leading cause of cancer in men, with over 40,000 such cases diagnosed on an annual basis.
Yet a survey conducted by the charity indicated that nearly 20% of British men were not even aware of the existence of the prostate, ensuring that men were effectively blind to the risk of cancer.
The survey of 1,900 men found that:
– 92% were clueless about the gland’s role;
– 54% did not know where it was;
– 17% did not know they had a prostate.
Commenting on the results, Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Angela Culhane, suggested that the ignorance of men in Britain represents a serious health risk.
“Men are very ignorant about prostate cancer and it’s dangerous because it is actually the most common cancer in men. The things it does affect – ejaculation and sexual function, urine flow and incontinence – are not regularly talked about over the dinner table or in the pub.”
Over 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK every year, with the condition considered particularly dangerous owing to the lack of symptoms that are present in the early stages of the cancer.
The aforementioned Culhane suggested that men all over Britain needs to know more about this issue, and to be aware of both the risk factors and indicators of the possible development of such cancer.
“A man in his 30s with none of the risk factors shouldn’t be overly worried – but for men at higher risk, they should have a conversation with their GP or one of our specialist nurses. If they have a family history, are black [black men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as the overall population] or are over 50, then, generally, they should be thinking about having a conversation. As a country, we need to wake up and stop men dying needlessly.”
Despite the problems with prostate cancer, it is hoped that a new technique could spare problems for many men in the UK by effectively cooking tumorous growths.
At present, many men with early-stage prostate cancer opt to have the whole organ removed, to maximise the chance of being cured.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound or ‘HiFu’, kills the tumour alone by using a thin beam of energy to heat up cancer cells to 90C.