Prostate Cancer Symptoms can be uncomfortable. The disease is one of the top ten deadliest cancers in the US so it’s very important to be aware of the warning signs and understand the symptoms in order to help to diagnose it early on. If that is done, the disease can be treated much more successfully and provide patients with excellent long term prognosis. So we’ll discuss some of the important symptoms of this type of cancer you need to take note of.
Early stage prostate cancer often shows no symptoms. And since the disease tends to progress slowly, it may remain hidden for years. The first sign of the disease is usually found during a blood test to check for PSA which is a marker for prostate cancer. Or a doctor may perform a physical exam of the prostate. A hard nodule or lump on the surface of the prostate may indicate the presence of cancer. However this can also be associated with other problems so it’s important to pursue further testing.
If the disease progresses unchecked, it may cause the tumor to enlarge and press on the urethra. This can cause the urine flow to decrease and make urination more difficult and sometimes painful. During urination patients may also experience a burning sensation. Other prostate symptoms may also include presence of blood in the urine.
If the tumor continues to grow, it can eventually completely block the urethra which can result in an obstructed and enlarged bladder. This by itself does not mean however that there is prostate cancer present.
Many men who are 50 years or older can begin to experience an enlarged prostate. This is normally a benign situation but it can cause difficulty with urination and other problems. So it is important to bring these observations up to your doctor but it must be studied much more carefully to isolate the cause.
Other symptoms which can be present in later stages can be a spread of the prostate cancer into surrounding tissue or the pelvic nodes which are lymph nodes located close to the prostate. If the cancer metastasizes it can unfortunately spread throughout the body to other organs. Some typical symptoms of metastasized cancer can include serious fatigue, weakness, and unexplained weight loss.
A doctor can sometimes detect the spread of prostate cancer into surrounding tissues by performing a rectal exam. If he feels a hard lump which is not moving located on the prostate and extending beyond it, there is a chance the cancer has spread to nearby areas.
It usually moves to the lower spine or pelvis first. In this case the patient may begin to experience lower back pain or pelvic pain. The cancer may then move on further into the liver and lungs resulting in abdominal pain or a persistent cough and chest pain.
But keep in mind that as indicated earlier, prostate cancer is highly treatable when it is identified in the early stages. So it’s important to receive regular screenings to check on this especially after the age of 50. The screening tests typically consist of a digital rectal exam and a blood test to measure prostate specific antigen or PSA. If these tests indicate a possible problem then further comprehensive tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis and other important details.