King’s surgery expected to drive increase in men having their prostate checked

22 January 2024

The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) expects more Australian men will get their prostate checked after King Charles raised awareness about enlarged prostates by sharing with the world his own medical condition, already driving a spike in testing in the UK. 

King Charles is undergoing a corrective procedure this week for an enlarged prostate, one of the most common non-cancerous tumours found in men. 

“These procedures are usually minimally invasive and performed without any skin incisions, and an  estimated 25,000  are performed each year in Australia. If left undiagnosed this condition could lead to bladder damage, urinary tract infections and bleeding,” said Professor Damien Bolton, Vice President Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand.

“Changes in urination is a common symptom to look out for – a sudden and urgent need to urinate, straining or slow flow while urinating, or getting up multiple times in the night to urinate,” said Professor Bolton. 

“The prostate starts to compress the urine channel and this in turn may interfere with bladder function. Incomplete bladder emptying is another common feature,  and in severe cases, men may be unable to urinate at all.”

“The three most common prostate problems are infection, enlarged prostate, and prostate cancer but one does not necessarily lead to another.”  

“It is important for men to have a regular PSA blood test after 50 or earlier if there is a family history as the PSA test remains the best test currently available for early detection.”

“The King’s decision to share his medical diagnosis is a timely reminder for men to talk about the importance of checking prostate health and taking action.” 

"The number of Australian men diagnosed with enlarged prostates and prostate cancer will rise over the next decade.”

“Already there are more than 3500 deaths across Australia and New Zealand annually from prostate cancer and a great many more who suffer painful metastatic disease.”

“It’s why it’s so important to keep up to date with your PSA tests because if we can catch prostate issues early there is greater chance of survival and reduced need for invasive treatments.” 

About the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand 

The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand is the peak professional body for urological surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. Urologists are surgeons who treat men, women and children with problems involving the kidney, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs. These conditions include cancer, stones, infection, incontinence, urination difficulties, sexual dysfunction and pelvic floor problems. 


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