Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in men, in the UK. It is often diagnosed in men who are 70 years of age or older. More than 80 % of men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2000 and 2004 live for more than 5 years (i.e. 8/10 men live for five years, or longer). Some types of prostate cancer are not aggressive, and your doctor may recommend “watchful waiting”, where they keep an eye on you, but don’t give you any treatment (unless they notice a change).
It’s not nice to think about, but many men diagnosed with prostate cancer will not die of prostate cancer but something else not related to their cancer. People who eat a vegetarian diet are half as likely to get prostate cancer as meat eaters. The Chinese and Japanese have much lower rates of prostate cancer than the British and the Americans so a lot of research is looking at how our diet may affect the growth of prostate cancer.
In Scotland, in 2005 about 2,400 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. If you look at the figures for the North of Scotland (Tayside, Grampian, Highland, Argyll, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles) you see that about 630 men were diagnosed in 2005. The most recent data I could find for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, was from 2002, when about 90 men in the City and 100 men in the shire were diagnosed with prostate cancer. All these figures are from IDS Scotland. (Their webpage is full of statistics, it will only be of interest to those of you who love excel spreadsheets and mathematical tests…)
Prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy or hormone treatment, or can be left alone (“watchful waiting”) to see what happens. All these treatments can be used in combination. You can find out more about prostate cancer and treatments on the Macmillan Backup prostate cancer pages and the netdoctor web page has a good introduction to prostate cancer.
There is a prostate cancer charity, who offer information and support, you can find their webpage here. For more information on how what you eat might affect prostate cancer (i.e. “diet and prostate cancer”) have a read of Cancer Research UK’s Research into the Causes and Prevention of Prostate Cancer. It is a good summary of what the research tells us about diet and prostate cancer and also gives some information on testing for prostate cancer.
If you know of any other useful websites, please leave me a comment below. Thanks!