‘Sudden’ erectile dysfunction a sign of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer: Dr Hilary outlines signs and symptoms

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Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in the UK, accounting for more than 52,000 cases every year. It is also the second highest cancer killer among men. As with any medical condition, the sooner you can spot the signs the sooner you can seek treatment.

The prostate is a small gland found in the pelvis, between the penis and bladder.

Many of us are aware of the symptoms that affect urination – including needing to urinate more.

However, there is one ‘common’ sign that can have an impact on your sex life.

One expert spoke with Express.co.uk about the typical signs of prostate cancer.

Navin Khosla, superintendent pharmacist at From Mars, said that “sudden” erectile dysfunction was one of the five main signs of the disease.

The other four symptoms are:

  • Urinating more often than usual, especially at night
  • Having little control over urinating – finding it difficult to start or stop or experiencing a weak flow of urine
  • Experiencing pain or a burning sensation when urinating or ejaculating
  • Blood in your urine or semen.

He said: “As prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer amongst men, it is important to know the warning signs of the illness in order to detect the cancer early on.

“Urination is one of the key tells of prostate cancer, if urinating feels abnormal or painful then I would advise contacting your GP so they can perform a full check of your prostate.

“The risk of prostate cancer increases with age – after the age of 50, I would advise visiting your doctor for regular prostate examinations.

“This risk is increased further if there is a history of prostate cancer in your ancestry and also if you are of African-Caribbean or African ancestry – if this is the case I would advise the regular checks to start from the age of 45.”

As part of the checks your GP will perform a painless rectal examination where they will insert a finger into your anus to check for any irregularities of your prostate.

Your GP might also perform a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

This is a blood test which can detect any antigens in your blood which arise if you have prostate cancer.

However, prostate cancer isn’t the only cause of a high PSA, so if this is detected you will also need to have other checks such as an MRI scan.

Mr Khosla explained how to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

“Unfortunately, there’s no way of completely eradicating the risk of developing prostate cancer,” he said.

“However, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the chances – maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are important changes you can make to improve your health, also reducing animal-fat intake and consumption of processed meats can help reduce these risks.”

There are 12,000 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year.

According to Cancer Research UK, if caught in its earliest stage, all people with prostate cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 49 percent of people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.

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