Signs of Prostate Cancer You Shouldn't Ignore 6/17/19


 

June, 17, 2019

By S. Adam Ramin, MD

Signs of Prostate Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore

What to look for when the second leading cause of cancer in American men presents itself.

Outside of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer cause for men in the United States, with up to 1 in 9 receiving the diagnosis at some point in their lives. The great news is that most men have a high probability of surviving the disease, though as is the case with many cancer types, that likelihood decreases as the disease advances. Thus, it is crucial for every many to know the symptoms of this disease, so that he can advocate for his health and make an appointment with a medical expert right away. Knowing what to look for isn’t always easy, so below are some common signs or symptoms that may indicate a problem with the prostate. Not all of them are one hundred percent indicative of cancer. However, all warrant a visit to the doctor.

Pain While Urinating or Ejaculating – Though there can be other causes of urinary or ejaculatory pain, from a UTI to an STD, to prostatitis, prostate cancer is one of them. When a tumor affecting the prostate gland causes it to swell, it can set off a variety of symptoms, including pain during or immediately following urination or ejaculation. Blood in the urine or semen, whether or not there is the presence of pain, can also be a prostate cancer sign.

Problems with Urination – Beyond pain, prostate cancer can also manifest as a troubling set of issues with a man’s urinary function. Some men describe this sensation as a lack of urinary control. Prostate cancer can make it difficult to stop or start a urine stream, and many men also report feeling as though their urine stream is uncharacteristically weak or becomes involuntarily interrupted at intervals when they pee. When these urinary issues present themselves, it can also become difficult for some men to urinate while standing up. Furthermore, prostate cancer can result in urinary frequency, especially in the middle of the night.

Lower Extremity Issues – While problems with urination and ejaculation can be a bit more common signs of prostate cancer, there are others to not ignore, including those that affect the legs and feet. Again, these issues can be caused by a myriad of other health conditions, but they are present in men who diagnosed with prostate cancer, so they warrant discussion. Unexplained swelling, weakness, or numbness in the legs or feet may seem like unusual prostate cancer symptoms. Leg swelling can come from lymphedema, or an accumulation of fluid in the lymph nodes that are responding to cancer and leg weakness can occur when a prostate tumor is pressing on the spinal cord. When prostate tumors grow in size, they can also affect surrounding nerves, which can lead to a feeling of numbness in the legs as well.

It bears repeating that any of the above symptoms can indicate another issue entirely that doesn’t herald a prostate cancer diagnosis. However, ALL of these symptoms warrants a trip to the doctor. The tough news is that prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause these types of signs in its earlier stages. Often, early on in cancer’s development, a man remains symptom-free. So, if we know that cancers caught and treated sooner give men a higher chancer of survival, how is it a man can know what to look for? I bet you know the answer – REGULAR physicals. It’s that simple. Men who receive regular checkups and prostate examinations after age 50 have a much higher likelihood that cancer would be discovered and diagnosed at an earlier stage. I know it is common practice for many men to avoid the doctor when something doesn’t feel “wrong,” but it’s an inadequate approach to your health. Schedule your physical; it’s ALWAYS worth it.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/guide/understanding-prostate-cancer-symptoms

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/17-prostate-cancer-warning-signs-hiding-in-plain-sight/ss-AAAANDM#image=2

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