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Requesting A Prostate Cancer Test

Prostate Cancer Patient videos

Patient empowerment for prostate cancer

Despite being the leading cancer for men in the UK1, there is no national screening programme in place to test men for prostate cancer2. This means that a man is only screened for prostate cancer if he is exhibiting symptoms or actually goes about requesting a prostate cancer test from his doctor.

David Childs Hopkins, a prostate cancer patient, did just that. With no symptoms apart from his age, he requested a prostate cancer test from his GP:

“I wasn't in any pain and probably could have gone on for a long time without knowing anything was wrong. Through my actions in driving the diagnosis, I believe that the results have been far less problematic than they would have been had I done nothing. The cancer could have spread and this would have resulted in a different type of surgery and the consequences could have been much more serious.”

Risk factors for prostate cancer

As with many cancers, there is a limited understanding about what causes the cells in the prostate to multiply out of control and create tumours3. However, there are several risk factors associated with developing prostate cancer, these include:

- Age – the risk of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older3
- Family history – a man with a close relative who has had prostate cancer has an increased risk of developing the disease himself3
- Ethnic group – prostate cancer is more prevalent in men of African and African-Caribbean ethnic origin3
- Health – Obesity, a diet high in calcium, and a lack of exercise are all thought to increase a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer3

Regardless of risk factors or symptoms, men, once they reach their forties or fifties, should request to be screened for prostate cancer. An early diagnosis of Prostate cancer can save your life.

1. NHS Choices – Prostate cancer. Date last updated: 14.02.11. Website:
2. NHS cancer screening programmes – Prostate cancer. Date last updated: No date given. Website:
3. NHS Choices – Prostate cancer causes. Date last updated: 14.02.11. Website:


10534 February 2012

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