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2013 January

Figures show three-fold rise in prostate cancer risk

28th January 2013

There has been a significant increase in the number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Figures published by Cancer Research UK show that men's lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer has almost trebled over the last 25 years.

Whereas just one in 20 boys who were born in 1990 will be diagnosed with the disease during their lives, the risk has risen to one in seven for those born in 2015.

The increase is due to a combination of factors, according to the charity's experts.

Firstly, life expectancies have increased, so more men are reaching an age where prostate cancer is likely to develop.

And secondly, use of a diagnostic tool called the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has become more widespread in recent years.

The test can help to detect prostate cancer, including the large number of slow-growing cases that would otherwise go unnoticed during patients' lifetimes.

Experts recognise that PSA testing has many limitations, which is why the UK has not introduced a nationwide screening programme based on the test.

Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research UK's prostate cancer expert, said: "We're carrying out an intensive amount of research to find better methods than PSA to distinguish between the minority of cases that are life threatening and do need treatment ... from the majority of cases that don't."

But the scientist admitted there is still "much more to be done".

Dr Sarah Cant, director of policy and campaigns at Prostate Cancer UK, agreed that research is needed to address a situation where diagnostic tests for the disease remain "decades behind where we need to be".

Prostate cancer is not the only disease to affect the prostate gland, as prostate enlargement and prostatitis (inflammation of the gland) are also key concerns for men.

An enlarged prostate is common among older men, with around one in three over-50s showing symptoms that affect their urination.

Prostatitis, meanwhile, occurs when tissues of the prostate gland become inflamed, resulting in pelvic and testicular pain, as well as pain when urinating.

Conditions that affect the prostate can cause major discomfort and frustration for men, so many choose to support their prostate function with food supplements.

AlphaProst Plus is specifically formulated to help maintain optimum prostate support thanks to its wide array of hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-stimulating nutrients, all of which are derived from herbs and other natural sources.

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