Our dads, brothers, grandfathers, partners, friends at risk

21st September 2017 5:00 AM

YOUR SAY: One in five Queensland men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85 - our dads, brothers, grandfathers, partners and friends are at risk.

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer among men in Queensland, with about 4000 men diagnosed each year on average.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we're urging men to help raise awareness of the disease and better understand their risk to help detect it early.

While five-year survival rates for prostate cancer are drastically improving and are at 94 per cent, up from 64 per cent in the 1980s, there's still no time for complacency.

The cause of prostate cancer is still not clear, and in the early stages, prostate cancer often doesn't produce any symptoms. However, we do know that the risk of prostate cancer rises with age and occurs mainly in men over 60 years.

Men with a family history also have an increased risk of developing the disease.

It's crucial that men understand their risk and let their GP know if they have a family history to receive the right advice on the pros and cons of prostate cancer testing.

Unfortunately, there is no single, simple test to detect prostate cancer. The test most commonly used to aid early detection of prostate cancer is the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test but this test does not always reliably identify the presence of prostate cancer, or distinguish potentially fatal cancers from benign tumours.

We recommend men speak with their GP about what is right for them, especially if they notice body changes including difficulty or pain in passing urine, or blood in urine, and any of these symptoms combined with pain in the lower back, upper thighs or pelvic region.

If men have questions or concerns about prostate cancer, they should visit their GP or call Cancer Council's 13 11 20.

MS CHRIS MCMILLAN, CEO, Cancer Council Queensland