High prostate cancer rates in Northamptonshire have prompted health chiefs to warn men to look out for warning signs.
There were 119.1 cases per 100,000 people in the county last year, compared to a national average of 105.8 cases per 100,000.
And mortality rates in Northamptonshire are also higher, with 25.9 deaths per 100,000 people compared to a national average of 24.
Now health care bosses are backing a national Men United campaign fronted by comedian Bill Bailey to encourage men over 50 to seek medical advice if they spot any of the symptoms.
Launched by Prostate Cancer UK, the campaign highlights symptoms including:
Needing to go for a wee more often, especially at night - for example if you often need to go again two hours after urinating
Difficulty starting to urinate
Straining or taking a long time to finish urinating
A weak flow when you urinate
A feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
Needing to rush to the toilet - you may occasionally leak before you get there
Chair of NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Peter Wilczynski said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed every year, with over 250,000 men already living with the disease. As with other cancers, it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible. That’s why I’m urging men with symptoms to seek medical advice quickly.”
Clinical Director at NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Tom Evans said: “No one knows how to prevent prostate cancer but diet and a healthy lifestyle may be important in preventing the disease. Therefore, it’s a good idea for men to exercise vigorously for half an hour at least three times a week, and to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.”
Prostate cancer mainly affects men over the age of 50, and the risk increases with age. The average age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 70 and 74. The risk of getting prostate cancer is very low for men under 50.
Men are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if their father or brother has been diagnosed with it while black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other ethnic backgrounds.
Treatment depends on whether the cancer is contained in the prostate gland or has spread but options include radiotherapy, hormone therapy, ultrasound treatment and chemotherapy.
Any men experiencing the symptoms should call Prostate Cancer UK’s specialist nurses on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org
Alternatively, men can make an appointment with their GP.