Orchid’s Male Cancer campaign highlights essential health messages for men at risk of testicular, prostate or penile cancer. With relatively low awareness of male cancer, compared to other cancers, and the number of men diagnosed each year rising, the annual campaign is more important than ever.
Cancer of the testicle is one of the less common cancers, and tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age. Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK. This type of cancer usually only affects one testicle. The good news is that testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, and the outlook is one of the best for cancers.
Common symptoms of testicular cancer
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
- Back pain
See your doctor if you detect any pain, swelling or lumps in your testicles or groin area, especially if these signs last longer than two weeks.
Every year in the UK, more than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer – that’s 129 males every day. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. However, again the good news is that in many cases the disease is treatable, especially if caught early enough.
Common symptoms of prostate cancer
Many men with early prostate cancer don’t have signs or symptoms. If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this can also be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate or another health problem. However, it’s always a good idea to get it any changes checked out by a doctor.
Potential changes include:
- A weak flow when you urinate
- Difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
- A feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
- Dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- Needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- A sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet.
If prostate cancer breaks out of the prostate (locally advanced prostate cancer) or spreads to other parts of the body (advanced prostate cancer), it can cause other symptoms, including:
- Back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Problems getting or keeping an erection.
Penile cancer is a relatively rare cancer that mostly affects the skin of the penis and the foreskin (the skin covering the head of the penis). There are around 670 new penile cancer cases every year. The earlier penile cancer is found, the better.
Common symptoms of penile cancer
Men who aren’t circumcised are at greater risk of penile cancer, but every man should be on the lookout for penile lesions. You should see a GP if you notice any of these on the foreskin, or the shaft or head of your penis:
- An area of skin becoming thicker and/or changing colour
- A lump on the penis
- An ulcer (sore) that might bleed
- A reddish, velvety rash
- Small, crusty bumps
- Flat, bluish-brown growths
- Smelly discharge (fluid) under the foreskin
Most of these signs may be from a bacterial or fungal infection, or even an allergic reaction and if so, will respond to antibacterial or antifungal ointments and creams, however it’s best to see your doctor to rule anything more serious out.
At Private GP Extra, patients have access to highly experienced GPs across the North West of England, at a time to suit them. Our doctors provide a personalised service, with continuity of care, for every person and can also offer a smooth and rapid onward referral to a male cancer specialist, if required. To book an appointment with one of our GPs, please visit https://www.privategpextra.com/appointments/ or call 0161 428 4464.