Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the UK, with 40,000 new cases being diagnosed every year.
However, unlike more aggressive forms of the disease, cancer of the prostate gland can often be slow; hence odds are high that a man may have the condition for several years before noticing any form of symptoms.
Indeed, males probably won't begin to see any signs of the disease until the prostate swells sufficiently to affect the urethra - the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis. It is when this happens man begins to experience problems while urinating.
In this article we'll take a quick look at the signs which could suggest you have prostate cancer and explain what to do if you begin to witness any of the symptoms.
As the prostate is located just below the bladder, when it begins to swell it puts pressure on the tube which transports urine towards the penis.
This process can make you need to urinate more frequently than normal - particularly throughout the night - and may occasionally leave you having to rush to the toilet.
Yet the problems are only the sudden onset of the urge to urinate, as in some instances prostate cancer mould make it more difficult to start urinating - and even mean you have to strain in order to start.
It could also cause you to have a weak flow of urine, and you might feel as though you haven't properly emptied your bladder even after you've used the toilet.
However, it's important not to panic - these symptoms could simply suggest that your prostate has enlarged, and this is something that happens to many men who do not go on to develop cancer. Indeed, having a swollen prostate does not make you any more likely to suffer from cancer of the gland.
What to do:
If you notice any of these problems then it's important to seek the help of a doctor, who will be able to assess the symptoms and may send you for further tests depending on what a quick examination reveals.
It's vital that you don't put off going to see your GP, as even though the cancer is usually slow to develop, in some cases it can be aggressive - catching it early gives you the best chance of curing the condition before it begins to spread.
What happens next?
After having tests, if it is determined that you do have cancer then experts will decide whether or not you need treatment.
Indeed, if the cancer is slow to develop then it is likely your condition will be monitored rather than directly treated - it is only in cases where there are signs that the disease will spread that you will need urgent medical attention to combat the cancerous cells directly.
The most important thing to remember is that if you notice the symptoms of prostate cancer, seek the advice of a doctor ' it's better to be safe than sorry.