Home » Men's healthcare » Don’t wait for prostate cancer symptoms: check your risk now
Men's Healthcare Q1 2023

Don’t wait for prostate cancer symptoms: check your risk now

iStock / Getty Images Plus

Amy Rylance

Head of Improving Care, Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and one in eight men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. For Black men, that figure doubles to one in four.


Early prostate cancer is very treatable, but be aware that it doesn’t normally have symptoms in the early stages. So don’t wait until you’re feeling unwell to think about prostate cancer.

In many cases, once symptoms have appeared, the cancer will have already spread and become more difficult to cure. Every man must know his risk of getting the disease, which is why I’d encourage everyone to use the Prostate Cancer UK online risk checker.

Who is most at risk of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and this risk increases with age. If you are a Black man or have a family history of prostate cancer, your risk is significantly higher, so you should speak to your GP about regular PSA blood tests from age 45.  

Prostate cancer screening

I’m excited to write that the UK might now be in a position to roll out a national screening programme for prostate cancer, which would undoubtedly save thousands of lives. Recent research carried out by Prostate Cancer UK shows that tests for the disease are now far more accurate and less harmful than they used to be, thanks to newer scans and safer, targeted biopsies.

We’ve submitted this evidence to the National Screening Committee, and we hope that they’ll decide we are ready for the screening programme we so desperately need.

In Scotland, 35% of men with prostate cancer
receive their diagnosis at an advanced
stage, when it’s too late for a cure.

Check your risk in seconds

Routine NHS screening would be a vital step forward in giving men everywhere a fighting chance against prostate cancer, especially as data revealed this year shows a huge North-South divide in the UK when it comes to men getting diagnosed early enough to be cured.

In Scotland, 35% of men with prostate cancer receive their diagnosis at an advanced stage, when it’s too late for a cure. This figure is around 20% in Northern Ireland, Yorkshire and the Northeast of England — and drops to just 12.5% of men diagnosed in London.

Until all men in the UK receive regular screening, it’s still up to you to decide if you want a PSA blood test. The most powerful thing you can do is check your risk of getting prostate cancer and get the information you need to decide if it’s right for you.

Check your risk in just 30 seconds using Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker: prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck

Next article