My dad had prostate cancer when he was 65. Does this make me more likely to get it too? What could increase my risk and how will I know if I have it?

Your risk of getting prostate cancer may be higher if other members of your family have had it. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men, with the average age of diagnosis being 66 years of age.

It is believed that a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:

·       Age – Risk rises as you get older and most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years of age.

·       Ethnic group – Prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent than in men of Asian descent.

·       Family history – Having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer under the age of 60 seems to increase the risk of you developing it. Research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.

·       Obesity – Recent research suggests that there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer.

·       Exercise – Men who regularly exercise have been found to be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

·       Diet – Research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer. There is evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Different men have different symptoms of prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all, especially in the early stages, until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder (urethra).

Some symptoms of prostate cancer are:

·       Weak or interrupted flow of urine

·       The need to urinate more often, especially at night

·       Pain or burning during urination

·       Loss of bladder control

·       Blood in the urine or semen

·       Pain in the back, hips, chest (ribs) or pelvis that doesn’t go away

·       Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet

·       Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)

If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.