Sterling Hayden battled prostate cancer in the lead up to his death

Sterling Hayden battled prostate cancer in the lead up to his death

Prostate Cancer UK highlights latest treatment innovations

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In his sixth decade of life, the Hollywood actor was fighting against a growing tumour that began in his prostate. The Prostate Cancer Foundation explained: “The prostate is a small, rubbery gland about the size of a ping-pong ball, located deep inside the groin.” Located between the base of the penis and the rectum, the prostate gland supplies seminal fluid that comes out during ejaculation.

When “something goes wrong within prostate cells”, cancer develops but, in most cases, the tumour is “slow-growing”.

This is why it can take years for the tumour to become large enough to be detectable.

The charity elaborated: “Once prostate cancer forms, it feeds on androgens and uses them as fuel for growth.

“This is why one of the backbones of treatment for men, especially with advanced prostate cancer, is to lower a man’s androgen levels.”

Androgen levels can be dampened by the use of hormone therapy, and other treatments are typically used in combination.

“Not all prostate cancer cells are alike,” the charity cautioned. “Prostate cancers that are composed of very abnormal cells are much more likely to both divide quickly and spread.”

Often, the cancerous tumour spreads to the seminal vesicles and nearby lymph nodes.

Symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, sometimes urgently
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination
  • Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs.

These are also a sign of another non-cancerous condition, such as prostatitis.

Cancer Research UK pointed out that there is no national screening for prostate cancer.

Thus, if you identify with any of the symptoms outlined above, do book a doctor’s appointment.

“One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime,” Prostate Cancer UK notes.

As for Sterling Hayden, hailed as “The Most Beautiful Man in the Movies” by Paramount Pictures, his cancer turned deadly.

On May 23, 1986, Sterling took his last breath in Sausalito, California, at the age of 70.

Leaving behind a legacy of great works, Sterling can be seen in the likes of The Godfather, The Killing, and The Asphalt Jungle.

And while he featured in over 50 films throughout his career, his fascination was truly with the sea.

A ship captain at the age of 22, he would regularly escape Hollywood to explore the world by boat.

In 1963, he penned the autobiography Wanderer, which portrayed his deep passion for travelling.

Aside from the film industry, Sterling would have left an imprint on his widow’s heart, Catherine McConnell.

Sterling Hayden starred in Timberjack, which is showcasing on Thursday, February 23 at 11am on Film4.

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