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Men ignore signs of prostate cancer

An ICM poll commissioned by The Prostate Cancer Charity asked men over 45 years of age what would most stop them from visiting their GP, if they were getting up to pee several times at night. The findings paint a shocking picture of fear, lack of awareness about the symptoms of prostate cancer and most worryingly, men not being able to get an appointment to see their doctor.

Men admitted that they would find all kinds of excuses to avoid going to the doctor. The main reasons given for delaying include:

  • Almost one in three (28%) men thought is was normal for their age to get up many times at night to pee.
  • Over a quarter (26%) thought they wouldn't be able to get a GP appointment so wouldn't bother.
  • More than a fifth (22%) were frightened and thought it meant they had prostate cancer.
  • 16% admitted to being concerned that they might need a rectal examination.

The Prostate Cancer Charity Chief Executive, John Neate, said: "It's amazing that so many men have such low expectations of their quality of life, as they get older, and are prepared to accept uncomfortable symptoms as normal and simply not visit their GP.

"Until men have been to a GP, they won't know why they are getting up several times at night to pee. Although this can be a symptom of prostate cancer, it can also be due to treatable age related, benign changes in the prostate. It is concerning that a fear of a prostate cancer diagnosis might stop men taking the first vital steps to understanding what is wrong with them."

The ICM poll commissioned by The Prostate Cancer Charity also asked men what they thought was the key role of the prostate gland - a third (33%) correctly answered that it was important for sexual function.

Mr Neate said: "We asked this question in a similar poll last year and only 13% of men knew what the prostate gland did. Whilst the increase in knowledge is encouraging and most welcome, crucially, seven in 10 men still don't know about their prostate gland and the vital role it plays in their lives.

"We certainly don't want men to panic about getting prostate cancer, but we do want far more men to be aware of their risks of this disease and their health in general."

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Because the tests and treatment are all so horrific." - Name and address supplied

"Because they know a male doctor is going to penetrate their backsides! Simply that." - Name and address supplied

"Men are aware of prostate cancer but again, your explanation as to what the signs are appear woefully lacking in detail. How many times a night do men over 60 years expect to pee? You could say that if he drinks a pint of liquid before he retires he could expect to get up once or twice but not more and that would offer some indication." - Name supplied