Today MOST men are diagnosed with prostate cancer even before they begin to see symptoms, it is very important to know the signs in case you have not undergone voluntary screening.
Common Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer are largely related to its position the gland itself. The prostate gland is just located below the bladder in the lower pelvis.
As urine leaves the bladder, it goes through a thin tube called the urethra, that passes directly through the prostate.
Cancer as you know is characterized by two things: 1.inflammation 2. abnormal growth of cells.
With prostate cancer, the resulting inflammation and enlargement of the gland can cause the urethra to become pinched, impeding the flow of urine.
This results in four primary urinary symptoms:
1 .Increased frequency of urination
2. Increased urgency (sensation of having to urinate immediately)
3. Having to urinate multiple times during the night (nocturia)
4. Difficulty starting to urinate (hesitancy)
While these symptoms may be suggestive of cancer, other non-cancerous conditions can also cause urination problems. Among them is Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH);This is a condition characterized the enlargement of the prostate gland which typically occurs in older men.
The cause of BPH is largely unknown, although it is believed to be associated with changes in sex hormones as a man ages.
If left untreated, BPH can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder stones, bladder damage, and kidney damage.
Less Common Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Urinary problems are MOSTLY enough incentive for a man to seek treatment. But they are not the only symptoms a man can experience if he has prostate cancer.
Other less common causes include:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Blood in semen.(hematospermia)
- Sudden onset of erectile dysfunction
- Chronic bone pain, especially in the lower back, hips, or ribs
- Loss of bladder control
While these symptoms are less specific to the prostate gland, the development of any of these should be of concern. While cancer may only be responsible of one of many causes, it is one that should be taken serious.
When you need to See a Doctor
When it comes to finding out if you have prostate cancer, the first rule is not to wait until symptoms appear. Today, it is recommended that all men over 50 should undergo regular screening as part of a routine medical exam. If you have a brother or father who has had prostate cancer, screening can start as early as 40.
This screening would consist of a blood test called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) in which is a gloved finger is inserted into the rectum to evaluate the size and consistency of the gland.
Also if you’re under 50 or have not at any time undergone prostate cancer screening, it is important to see a doctor if any of the above-listed symptoms develop. None of which should be considered “normal.”
Even erectile dysfunction, (a condition which affects roughly a third of men over 50) should be discussed with your doctor and a warrant of cancer screening if you are older.
Don’t let embarrassment or being shy, keep you from getting screened. As with all types of cancers, early treatment is helps with not only better results but a reducing treatment-related side effects.