Prostate cancer is a formidable foe that kills tens of thousands of men every year. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of death in American men, behind only lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
The World Cancer Research Fund International notes that age-adjusted incidence rates of prostate cancer have increased dramatically, citing the increased availability of screening for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, for helping to find prostate cancer in men who otherwise might never know they were sick. In fact, the Prostate Cancer Foundation notes that there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer, which only highlights the importance of routine screenings.
Tumors resulting from prostate cancer may not push against anything to cause pain, even as they are growing. So men who do not receive routine prostate cancer screenings may live for years with the disease without knowing it. Such screenings can be a great ally in the fight against prostate cancer, but men also can remain on the lookout for potential signs of the disease. The PCF notes that, in rare cases, prostate cancer can produce the following symptoms, which men should immediately bring to the attention of their physicians.
Issues with urination
Urinary issues do not necessarily mean a man has cancer. But such issues should never be ignored, and any that arise should be brought to the attention of a physician immediately.
Men might mistake a growing need to urinate frequently as a simple side effect of aging and accept it without telling their doctors. But a need to urinate frequently, especially at night, might be a symptom of prostate cancer.
Some men may experience difficulty starting or holding back urination, but those who are experiencing difficulty starting or holding back urination should contact their physicians upon the appearance of these difficulties.
Men with prostate cancer may experience weak, dribbling or interrupted flow of urination. Such issues may be symptomatic of other conditions, so men should not immediately assume they have cancer.
Erection and ejaculation difficulties
Men might be embarrassed to report certain symptoms to their physicians. But in such situations, it’s important to remember that reporting any difficulties can be the first step toward healing, while avoiding such discussions can have long-lasting and potentially fatal consequences.
Some men experience difficulty in having an erection, and that difficulty may or may not be a byproduct of prostate cancer.
Men may also notice a decrease in ejaculate or begin experiencing painful ejaculations. While these symptoms are not always a result of prostate cancer, they should be reported to a physician who can then take measures to confirm or rule out the presence of cancer.
The PCF notes that conditions such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH, are common, benign diseases that can cause symptoms similar to prostate cancer. But men should still report symptoms such as blood in their urine or semen, pressure or pain in their rectum and/or pain or stiffness in their lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs to their physicians the moment they begin to feel such symptoms.
Men concerned about prostate cancer or interested in learning more about screenings can visit www.pcf.org for more information.