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Ovarian and prostate cancer awareness

24 March 2021

March is both prostate and ovarian cancer awareness month so we’ve put together some important information to help you understand more about 2 of the most common cancers in the UK.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of male cancer in the UK - around 41,000 men are diagnosed with it each year. It differs from other cancers as small areas of cancer within the prostate gland are very common. These may fortunately stay dormant (inactive) for many years. Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed in the early stages. We don’t know the cause of prostate cancer in most men however there are some risk factors that can increase the chances of getting it such as:

  • age – the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, men under 50 have a very low risk
  • family history – men who have close relatives (father, brother, grandfather or uncle) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to develop it themselves

All the symptoms below can be common. Most men who develop these symptoms do not have prostate cancer but have a non-cancerous (benign) enlargement of the prostate. However, it is best to have any new symptoms checked out by a doctor, don't wait:

  • difficulty passing urine or weak flow
  • passing urine more frequently, especially at night
  • urgency
  • poor emptying, feeling like the bladder is not emptying properly

Ovarian cancer

In females in the UK, ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer. Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women and mainly affects women who have been through the menopause (usually over the age of 50), but it can sometimes affect younger women. The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown however there are some risk factors such as:

  • being over the age of 50
  • a family history of ovarian or breast cancer – this could mean you have inherited genes that increase your cancer risk
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – although any increase in cancer risk is likely to be very small

Common symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

  • feeling constantly bloated
  • a swollen tummy
  • discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
  • feeling full quickly when eating
  • needing to go to the toilet to pass urine more often

Be aware of your body and any changes, contact your GP if you are worried about any symptoms. The earlier ovarian cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of a cure.

Information and support

If you're worried and not sure where to go, or who to ask you can contact Occupational Health tel: 01629 536943 and we can signpost you to the correct support.

Always use reputable websites to do your research such as: