Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and will become the most commonly diagnosed cancer overall by 2030.
If diagnosed early, the survival rate for prostate cancer is very high. Urologist Peter Holy, MD, of Men’s Health Clinic Kingston, says most people with prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms, but there are some changes you may notice that you should bring up with your doctor.
8 changes you shouldn’t ignore
Early-stage prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms — but as the disease progresses, you may experience certain warning signs. Knowing the signs of prostate cancer will help you keep an eye out for any concerning changes to your health.
1. Slow or weak urine flow
Most people with a prostate have trouble urinating as they age, and it’s not usually due to prostate cancer. Still, if you experience a slow or weak urine flow, or if your urine flow starts and stops beyond your ability to control it, it’s a good idea to get your prostate checked.
2. Frequent need to urinate
A tumour on the prostate can put pressure on your bladder and urethra, so take note if you start to feel a frequent and sometimes urgent need to urinate, especially at night.
3. Painful or burning urination
This condition is most commonly associated with urinary tract infections, but it can sometimes be a sign of prostate cancer.
4. Blood in the urine
Another possible warning sign of prostate cancer is hematuria, or blood in the urine. Though this can be associated with other health issues, including a urinary tract infection, it’s worth getting checked out.
5. Prostate pain
A rare but early sign of prostate trouble is unexplained pain in the area of your prostate, especially when you’re sitting down. “This could also indicate an infection, but only your urologist can say for certain,” Dr. Holy acknowledges.
6. Loss of bladder or bowel control
Both urinary and bowel incontinence can come with age or be related to other medical conditions. But if you’re experiencing bladder leakage or an inability to control your bowel movements, speak with your urologist about ruling out prostate cancer.
7. Ejaculation issues
All of these issues can be related to other health conditions. But if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, get in touch with your urologist just to be certain:
— Painful ejaculation
— Decreased volume of ejaculation
— Inability to maintain or keep an erection
— Blood in semen
8. Pain or numbness
As prostate cancer progresses, it may cause pain in your lower back, hips or chest, as well as potential numbness in your legs or feet. Most people receive a diagnosis before reaching this point, and of course, pain and numbness can be signs of a variety of other health issues, as well.
Lower your risk for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a serious disease, and early detection is the key. Talk to your urologist about your risk factors and when or if you should be screened for prostate cancer.
There are steps you can take to lower your risk:
— Get regular prostate screenings.
— Maintain a healthy weight.
— Exercise regularly.
— Eat a nutritious diet.
— Quit smoking.
Pay attention to your prostate. Knowing the warning signs can benefit your health and potentially save your life.Back
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