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HealthInfo Canterbury

Prostate health & symptoms

As with many other diseases, there are steps you can take to keep your prostate healthy and pick up problems early.

Have regular prostate checks

See your GP for regular checks of your prostate from around age 50, or earlier if you are more at risk of prostate cancer.

Drink less alcohol

Heavy drinking can increase your risk of prostate cancer. Stick to recommended levels of alcohol intake.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight may affect the hormone levels that can increase your risk of cancer. As well as other health benefits, being a healthy weight may reduce your risk.

Eat healthy food

Eat a variety of healthy food, especially plenty of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and legumes. For more information, read Eating for a healthy prostate.

Keep active

Being active for around 30 minutes at least five times a week reduces your risk of many cancers. It also has many other health benefits.

Be aware of possible symptoms of prostate problems

See your GP if you develop any symptoms that might suggest a problem with your prostate. Usually the first signs are problems with passing urine (wee). In most cases this is caused by your prostate getting larger, which is common as men get older. If you have any of the following symptoms you should see your GP:

To assess your prostate, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and examine you. As your doctor can't look at or directly examine your prostate, they might carry out a digital rectal examination. This is when your doctor gently inserts a lubricated gloved finger into your back passage. This allows them to feel the size, shape and texture of your prostate, which they can feel through the front wall of your rectum.

Your doctor may also arrange some blood tests and a urine test.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Urology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed October 2017. Last updated July 2019.


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Review key: HIPRH-45800