Men’s Health

Over 13,000 men are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland every year. The cancers that most commonly affect men are prostate, lung, bowel, testicular, and skin cancer. Researchers suggest that 40% of cancers could be prevented by changes in our lifestyles such as not smoking, taking more exercise, cutting down on alcohol, reducing sugar, eating more fruit and veg and avoiding too much red meat. If you have experienced any of the following; please contact your GP.

  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A lump or swelling or change in a mole.
  • Unexplained pain

The Cancers that most commonly affect men:

Prostate Cancer

On average almost 3500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland every year. Most men are diagnosed were between the ages of 65-74. Age standardised 5-year survival averaged at 91% at 5 years and 90% at 10 years accounting for 23% of all cancer survivors.

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is found in men within their pelvis. It secretes an enzyme which helps make up semen. The tube that carries urine from the bladder runs through the middle of it and the nerves that control erections surround it hence why many prostate cancer treatments affect continence and sexual function.

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Risk Factors

Family History: twice as likely if you have a first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Increasing age: generally, 50+

Race: prostate cancer is higher in black males.


High BMI: Advanced prostate cancer.


Early-stage prostate cancer may have no symptoms at all. Some men might notice a change in their waterworks, but this can also be a symptom of prostate enlargement. Men should discuss with their GP about having a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. They may then be referred for an MRI +/- a biopsy.

Grading Prostate Cancer

A pathologist grades the samples from a biopsy between 3-5, he then takes the two most common grades and adds them together; 3+3 being the least risk and 5+5 being the most aggressive.


The main treatments for prostate cancer include surgery; open or laparoscopic/robotic, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Radiotherapy may be external beam radiotherapy or brachytherapy. Active surveillance is also a management option for early-stage low risk prostate cancers. The most common side effects experienced by men include fatigue, urinary and sexual dysfunction. There is help available to deal with these symptoms such as various forms of exercise. This forms part of our prostate cancer programme, for more information, please contact our nurse at 057-8681492 or email


Testicular cancer

About 170 men in Ireland are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year, most cases occur in men under 45 years. Testicular cancer is very treatable and curable if detected early. It is important that teenage boys and young men check their testicles and if they notice anything different, they should see their GP.

Bowel/Colon Cancer

Approximately 2800 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Ireland every year. If you notice any bleeding or change in your bowel habit or excessive bloating, you should seek advice from your GP. BowelScreen is the national bowel screening programme. People between the ages of 60 to 69 years are sent a letter asking them to take part in the bowel screening programme.

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Lung Cancer

Over 2700 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in Ireland every year. Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in 9 out of 10 cases. If you.  notice that you are increasingly breathless, hoarse or have a cough that won’t go away or are coughing up blood, go and see your GP right away.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Ireland.  9 out of every 10 cases are caused by UV rays from the sun or sunbeds.  There are two types: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Non melanoma are the most common types of skin cancer and include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. They tend to affect older people in areas that have been exposed to the sun such as the face and top of the head in bald men. Melanoma is a more serious diagnosis that tends to affect younger people but is very treatable if caught early. The message is to be Sun Smart and see your GP if you notice any change in shape, size, or colour of a new or existing skin lesion.

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If you would like to find out more about any of the above, please contact us in complete confidence on 057- 8681492 or email: so we can be of assistance.