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    Introduction

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

    Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs you have it for many years. Symptoms often only become apparent when your prostate is large enough is affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis).

    When this happens, you may notice things like an increased need to urinate, straining while urinating and a feeling your bladder has not fully emptied.

    However, these signs do not mean you have prostate cancer. It is more likely they are caused by something else, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also known as BPH or prostate enlargement).

    Tests for prostate cancer

    There is no single test for prostate cancer. All the tests used to help diagnose the condition have benefits and risks, which your GP should discuss with you. The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are blood tests, a physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination or DRE) and a biopsy.

    The blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer. Men are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer as results can be unreliable.

    How is prostate cancer treated?

    For many men with prostate cancer, treatment is not immediately necessary. If the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms, a policy of “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance” may be adopted. This involves carefully monitoring your condition.

    Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages. Treatments include surgically removing the prostate, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.

    Read more about treating prostate cancer.