Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in men after skin cancer. It is estimated that 200,000 men per year in the US alone will develop this disease. The good news is that it is far less likely to lead to death, with only one in 35 succumbing. This is because generally, this form of cancer is not aggressive – although it can be in some cases.
Prostate cancer is not only slow in growing; it is also not as likely to spread to other parts of the body as many other kinds of cancers do. The best way to find out if there is a problem is to see the doctor for a regular check-up as you age. A physical examination is necessary, but a blood test is even more so, to find out if you have prostate specific antigen in your blood.
Some testing will find cancer that is relatively harmless; if this is treated there is the possibility you will suffer from side effects such as incontinence and impotence from the treatment. It is therefore necessary to make sure that the cancer you have is indeed, in need of treatment.
Symptoms of early prostate cancer
In many cases there are no symptoms of prostate cancer, so it is wise to have a regular check-up, especially as you get older. However, when there are symptoms they are usually as follows:
- Difficulty in urination, with problems in starting and maintaining a steady stream.
- Excessive urination during the night hours.
- Leaking urination.
- Urinary retention.
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in erection and/or ejaculation.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
Symptoms of late stage prostate cancer
In the later stages, there symptoms are more pronounced, ranging from mild to severe pain in the back, pelvis and even the bones in the upper thighs and hips. However, if you’ve never been diagnosed with prostate cancer, this kind of pain can have another cause.
The main risk factors for prostate cancer are things that you have no control over; namely, your age and genetics. Men over the age of 50 are more likely to develop this form of cancer, but into the 70s and 80s it is even more likely. And if you have a close relative with it, then you are more likely to also develop it.
However, there is one thing that is an additional risk that you can control and that is the diet. If you have a lot of processed meats or fatty foods over your lifetime, this can be a factor in developing prostate cancer. Stress may also be a factor, since constant stress has a bad effect on your body and immune system.
The good news is that most prostate cancer is not aggressive and you can live with it for many years without any symptoms, rather than having it treated, something that many older men would find beneficial.