The prostate is a vital part of the reproductive system of human males. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in American men, outside of skin cancer. The prostate is a small part of the male body around the size of a walnut. The aging process can be the starting point for prostate cancer, with the gland growing as men age.
After the prostate begins to enlarge, the problems associated with it grow as cancer symptoms progress. Symptoms are not always easy to see or understand, with screening for prostate cancer recommended from the age of 40 upwards depending on their risk assessment.
The answer to this is yes and no. In some cases, prostate cancer has no visible symptoms for years before problems are detected. The prostate is located in a cavity between the rectum and the bladder, meaning the enlargement of the gland can go unnoticed. Prostate cancer is known as a silent killer because it does not lead to visible symptoms in many men until it has reached an advanced stage.
The most commonly reported symptom of cancer of the prostate is difficulty urinating. Men affected by prostate cancer symptoms often find they have to urinate urgently during the night. The urgent need for urination is often accompanied by the inability to hold back urine once started. Other men find they have problems starting to urinate because of the enlargement of their prostate. An enlarged prostate can block the passage of urine from the bladder to the penis.
There are several symptoms associated with urination and prostate cancer. A male who experiences a weak flow of urine will find themselves at risk from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer symptoms include pain and bleeding when urinating.
The signs of prostate cancer are not limited to the development of urination issues. Instead, erectile dysfunction has been identified as a common symptom. Erectile dysfunction can be categorized as a difficulty in maintaining or achieving an erection. Males who are suffering from the symptoms of prostate cancer will often see a reduced amount of semen when ejaculating. Pain when ejaculating is a common symptom of prostate cancer in males who have an enlarged gland.
Because of the location of the prostate close to the rectum, the pain will often be felt in the rectum as the prostate enlarges. Prostate cancer symptoms will often take the form of pressure in the rectum that is often confused with constipation. Alongside the problem of rectal pain, prostate cancer can lead to back problems. Pain in the lower back and the hips is a commonly seen symptom. Other problems associated with the back include stiffness in the thighs and the hips.
One of the problems facing medical professionals is the wide range of symptoms associated with prostate cancer. Even an enlarged prostate identified by a medical professional will not lead to a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer. The enlarged prostate could be caused by several issues, including the benign enlargement of the gland. An enlarged prostate does not automatically lead to the diagnosis of cancer. Instead, your medical professional will test for cancer and other conditions.
The onset of erectile dysfunction is linked to cancer for many patients. However, males over the age of 40 see their chances of erectile dysfunction grow as they age, meaning this is a more likely cause than cancer.
The symptoms of cancer will grow over time and worsen. If prostate cancer is left untreated, the symptoms will progress beyond those already listed. The onset of prostate cancer will lead to fluid retention of the legs and feet. The retention of fluid will become painful as the problem progresses.
Because of the difficulty patients and medical professionals have in identifying prostate cancer, you will see advanced weight loss if cancer spreads beyond the prostate. Prostate cancer symptoms in their advanced stages will lead to drastic weight loss and fatigue. Bathroom habits will change as the cancer symptoms progress and lead to concern among most patients.
Prostate cancer screening is one of the ways people are encouraged to check for this form of cancer. The difficulty in identifying prostate cancer means a digit check has remained the most commonly used test. Checking for the enlargement of the prostate gland is still used by physicians to check urinary and rectal health.
Males over the age of 40 are encouraged by medical groups to check their prostate regularly. Males aged over 40 in high-risk groups, with a high risk of prostate cancer should engage in regular prostate exams.
At the age of 45, males in high-risk groups who have close relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer should begin to complete regular checkups. Those aged over 50 need to have their prostate checked regularly if they are at average risk. Patients with symptoms of prostate cancer need to have these issues addressed during their treatment to limit the risk of prostate cancer development.