4 warning signs that prostate cancer ‘may have spread’ as cases set to double globally

By Staff 6 Min Read

In the largest study of its kind, researchers have warned cases of prostate cancer around the world will jump from 1.4 million in 2020 to 2.9 million in 2040 – here are all the warning signs you should be aware of

Cases of prostate cancer around the world are forecasted to experience a staggering surge, according to an alarming new study.

Prostate cancer is already the most common form of cancer in males in over 100 countries and takes the lives of 12,039 people each year in the UK alone. But in the largest study of its kind, researchers say diagnoses are only going to spiral – jumping from 1.4 million a year in 2020 to 2.9 million in 2040.

That means 330 men will be told they have the life-threatening disease every single hour – and 700,000 deaths will occur. Scientists warn this number may be much higher, but low-income countries may struggle to make proper diagnoses. Therefore, knowing the warning signs is imperative in increasing the effectiveness of treatments and mortality rates. However, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be easily missed and may differ depending on whether the disease has spread.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

According to the NHS, prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any noticeable symptoms until the disease has ‘grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis’. This includes:

  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Needing to urinate more frequently, often throughout the night
  • Weak flow
  • Straining/ Taking a long time while urinating
  • Blood in urine/ semen
  • Feeling like your bladder has not emptied properly

If you’re dealing with these symptoms, it’s important to contact your GP straight away. However, do not worry, as many of the mentioned side effects could point to a non-cancerous condition named benign prostate enlargement or other less-serious health issues.

When it comes to cancer having spread to other parts of the body, the NHS urges men to look out for bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss as well as a pain in the testicles. Again, if you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, book an appointment with your doctor. There isn’t a single test to check whether you have prostate cancer, but doctors may suggest blood tests, a physical examination, an MRI scan, or a biopsy.

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What causes prostate cancer?

Leading charity Cancer Research UK says prostate cancer is not ‘clearly linked to any preventable causes’ but points out the disease is most common in men aged 75-79. Prostate cancer also disproportionately affects Black men, as well as those with a close relative who’s received a diagnosis.

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of metastatic or advanced prostate cancer. This is where cancer that began in the prostate has now spread to another part of the body. The reality is all men are at risk of prostate cancer – but you can check your risk in three quick questions here.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cancer, you get help and support here.

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