Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer affecting Singapore men. As our population ages, it is also fast becoming one of the most common cancers.
Causes of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is mainly found in older men above the age of 50.
"In general, the 3 major risk factors for prostate cancer include older age, race (African-American) and family history," shares
Dr Raj Vikesh Tiwari, Associate Consultant from the
Urology Service at
Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), a member of the
Read more: Our specialist answers FAQs about prostate cancer
hereditary prostate cancer represents 10% of all prostate cancers, where we see clustering of prostate cancer in certain families. By definition, to have familial prostate cancer there must be 3 generations affected, with 3 first degree relatives (direct relations) or 3 relatives under the age of 55 years," he adds.
In fact, if you have
- 1 relative that is affected, you have 2 to 3 times risk over the average person
- 2 relatives that are affected, you have a 5 times risk
- 3 relatives that are affected, you have an 11 times risk
In addition, familial
breast cancer also confers a greater risk of prostate cancer in those families as they share the same gene (BRCA 1 gene).
Read more: Male infertility - Is frequent masturbation a cause?
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Detection of early stage prostate cancer is difficult as it is usually asymptomatic. Symptoms usually show up at later stages of the disease as the tumour grows and narrows the urethra (urine passage) and spreads to other organs.
However, the following symptoms are non-specific and may also be caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions such as
benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and prostatitis (prostate inflammation).
Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
Read more: How is prostate cancer diagnosed and treated
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
- Painful ejaculation
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