Here at The Liverpool Homeless Football Club, we know a fair bit about balls; dribbling them, heading them and even scoring with them. However, one ball-related topic that we’re especially passionate about this month is prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men; over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day.
1 in every 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
So far, according to Cancer Research, there is nothing that can prevent prostate cancer, and often there are no symptoms until the tumour is developed. However, there is one way that you can often nip the little lump in the bud, or balls before it spreads:
Go see your doctor.
If you’re struggling to pee, constantly needing to pee, or you feel like your bladder is never fully empty, then its time to book a trip to see your doctor. These symptoms don’t always mean prostate cancer, but you’d rather be safe than sorry, right?
Here’s the thing; when people talk about cancer their mind automatically wonders to short life-expectancies or immense suffering. Cancer doesn’t always have to be like that. The 5-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%. 98% are alive after 10 years. Generally, these are the men that caught it quickly.
Once cancer starts to spread, that 5-year survival rate starts to fall; for men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 30%. Within this category will be the men that didn’t find anything wrong until it was too late or the lads that found something but thought nothing of it. It might be men who wish they could go back and tell themselves to get help sooner, or check their balls more often, or wish they had listened to the telethons and the advertisements and the medical professionals and the campaigns printed on the back of public toilet doors. It will also be men who just got plain unlucky.
So, please, see your doctor the moment something seems amiss.
What happens when you see your doctor?
Once you’ve summoned up the nerve to go and see your doctor, it’s normal to feel anxious about appointment ahead. You can be assured that there is nothing to worry about; you’re not the first person they’ve spoken to on this topic, and this won’t be the first person they’re ever examined. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and they’ve likely seen all of this many a time. For them, this will be completely normal, even if it’s all very new to you.
The examination for prostate cancer can feel a little intimate. The doctor will put a gloved finger into your ‘back passage’ in order to feel for a hard or enlarged prostate. Now, this may seem a rather alarming way of doing things, but it is over very quickly and will be well worth the visit. The doctor will be able to put your mind to rest and refer you to the appropriate team should you require further examinations. I’m sure you would far rather have answers than anxieties!
So, check yourself out, go and see your GP, and put your mind to rest.