Recognize the Early Signs of Prostate Cancer

Like most types of cancer, recognizing the early signs of prostate cancer leads to earlier diagnosis and a better chance of curing the disease. Unfortunately, in the very early stages, most men do not suffer from any symptoms and may not be diagnosed with the illness until it has already spread to other areas of the body. However, there are some common signs of prostate cancer and men who have any of these symptoms should see their doctor.

Difficulty or Pain With Urination

The most common symptoms of prostate cancer are difficulty or pain with urination. A feeling that you have to go, but do not; or having to go more often; as well as being unable to stop the flow of urine; or the feeling you still need to go even when you are finished. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and even a small tumor in that location can interfere with urination. A tumor may also cause pain while urinating as it presses on the urethra. A doctor should check any difficulty with urination, including starting, stopping, frequency or pain immediately. In addition, if you are finding that you must get up in the middle of the night urgently needing to urinate, a prostate examination is warranted. Incontinence (leaking or dribbling) is another sign that a man may have prostate cancer, as a tumor may prevent the prostate from shutting off the flow of urine.

Blood in the Urine or Semen

Blood in the urine or semen is not a common symptom of prostate cancer. However, a pink tint to either urine or semen could indicate prostate cancer. Bladder cancer may also present with blood in the urine. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice blood in either semen or urine.

Erectile Dysfunction

Men with prostate tumors often have difficulty getting or keeping an erection. A tumor can affect the nerves which run alongside the prostate thus affecting a man's ability to obtain or maintain an erection. While there are many benign causes for erectile dysfunction, if it is recurring, you should consult your doctor and a full evaluation should be performed.

Frequent Back, Hip or Thigh Pain

The most common sites where prostate cancer spreads are the lower back, pelvis and hips. Pain and tenderness in those areas could be symptoms of prostate cancer. Unlike regular lower back pain, patients often complain of a deeper, dull aching pain with prostate cancer.

Patient Age and Risk Factors

Although there is no set age for prostate cancer screening, most patients who develop the disease are over 50. Men whose fathers or grandfathers had prostate cancer also have a higher risk of the disease. Some studies have shown that eating a high-fat diet, being overweight and smoking may also increase your risk of prostate cancer. Other research has found that men whose female family members were diagnosed with breast cancer may also have a higher risk of developing symptoms of prostate cancer.

Regular PSA tests and rectal examinations are the best ways to find early prostate cancer, sometimes even before symptoms of prostate cancer are experienced. Although there is currently not a way to prevent prostate cancer other than a healthy diet, keeping fit and not smoking, research continues to find cures and prevention methods for this disease. For more information on prostate cancer, feel free to call us at: 1-888-PROSTATE.

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