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The Uncomfortable Truth: What Men Need to Know About Prostate and Testicular Cancer

Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England with almost 50,000 men diagnosed in 2020 alone. Although testicular cancer is far rarer, it too is on the rise.  


However, fighting back against these diseases is always going to be a problem because some men tend to have a ‘head in the sand’ approach when it comes to their health. They’d rather ignore any worrying symptoms or skip the health checks because they’re too shy or embarrassed about this intimate part of their bodies.  


If we continue with this approach, too many lives around the UK could be needlessly lost. We need to put our health first- get those check-ups and routine screens, and get help if we notice symptoms so we can continue to be healthy, strong and successful.  


To help you take control of your health, we’ve gathered together more information on these killer diseases so you can do just that. For further information, click the links we’ve shared.  

Prostate cancer 

What is prostate cancer?  

Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland- a small gland at the base of your bladder and part of the tube that carries urine from your bladder so you can pee.  


It’s the most common cancer in men, with over 40,000 new cases every year and mainly affects the over 50s. Around 1 in 8 British men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and your risk increases as you get older or if you have a family history of the disease. 

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? 

Because most causes of prostate cancer start in the outer part of the gland, there often aren’t any noticeable symptoms.  


However, some may be detected when it grows big enough and starts to press on the urine tube. These include:  

  • Passing urine more often 

  • Getting up during the night to empty your bladder  

  • Difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying your bladder completely and straining when starting to empty your bladder 

  • Urgency 

  • Blood in your urine or semen 

What should you do if you’re worried that you have prostate cancer?  

It’s important not to panic if you do experience any of the symptoms named above. Many won’t be cancer but due to another condition such as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).  

Having said that, it’s always important to get yourself checked, just to be on the safe side.  


Tests for prostate cancer include blood tests, physical examinations, MRI scans and in certain cases, a biopsy.  


Testicular cancer 

What is testicular cancer?  

As the name suggests, testicular cancer occurs in the testicles- part of the male reproductive system. It usually occurs in one testicle, not both and usually affects younger men between the ages of 20 and 35. If detected and treated early, it can usually be cured.  


Only around 2,300 men in the UK are diagnosed with this type of cancer every year, making it extremely rare.  


What are the signs of testicular cancer? 

Most men suspect that they could have cancer if they notice a lump or swelling in their testicles.  


If one testicle gets bigger, you have a heavy scrotum or discomfort or pain in your testicle or scrotum, it’s important to get checked out immediately. It may not be anything to worry about, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  


What should you do if you’re worried that you have testicular cancer?  

Many of the above symptoms of testicular cancer could be something harmless or something similar such as infection. However, if you experience any of them, any symptoms that are unusual for you or symptoms that don’t improve, see your GP immediately.  


You may be given a physical examination, a scrotal ultrasound, a blood test or in some cases, a histology.  



Stop burying your head in the sand when it comes to your health, men. Go for your routine health check-ups, monitor your health and visit the GP if you have any concerns.