Prostate cancer can be difficult for a man to spot, let alone his partner. There are, however, certain factors that may have you worrying about his health. These factors include age, family history and symptoms. It is natural to be concerned for your partner and want to do your best to keep him safe and healthy. So what do you do it you are worried your partner has prostate cancer?
It is well known that as men grow older their risk of prostate cancer increases. Depending on other factors such as family history, the risk of developing this disease before the age of 50 is reasonably low. Doctors that recommend PSA testing suggest men aged between 40 and 75 should take this test. If you are concerned about your loved one due to his age, sitting down with him and letting him know how you feel may give him the motivation he needs to get this test. You should of course also get advice from a doctor before he makes this decision.
At this point you might be wondering what a PSA test is and how it will affect your partner. The PSA screening test is a blood test that measures a man’s blood level of prostatic specific antigen (PSA). If a man’s PSA levels are too high the doctor will suggest he get a prostate biopsy to check for cancer. Although heightened PSA levels often indicate the presence of prostate cancer, a PSA test is not always specific. The main advantage of this test is that it allows men to catch prostate cancer in its early stages and treat it accordingly.
Another factor that may have you concerned is if your partner has a family history of prostate cancer. A man’s lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer increases with his number of first degree affected relatives. Men react to their risk of prostate cancer in a variety of ways. If your partner has a family history of prostate cancer, he may want to put off getting tested because he is afraid of being diagnosed or he would rather not know. This is completely understandable, however early detection can be the difference between curable treatment and incurable treatment.
If your partner has mentioned that he is having various urinary symptoms, this may suggest a prostate issue. These symptoms may have you suspecting your partner has prostate cancer, and you could be right. Some men will experience symptoms such as urinating frequently, having trouble starting urination or holding urine in, experiencing pain or burning when urinating. These symptoms could also indicate other prostate diseases, prostatitis or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP). In this case it is a good idea to encourage your partner to see his doctor for tests.
If you suspect or are concerned that your partner may have prostate cancer you should encourage him to talk to his doctor about it. If he is experiencing symptoms, or has a family history of prostate cancer, it is particularly important that he see his doctor to discuss test options. Some men don’t like making a fuss about things, so you may need to be the one who gets an appointment organised for him. The risk of prostate cancer can cause a great deal of stress and emotional strain. Be open, honest and patient with your partner and don’t ignore the warning signs.