Did You Know?
Prostate cancer symptoms resemble those associated with benign tumors and other urological conditions. So, it is best to consult a doctor for further diagnosis.
The prostate is a glandular organ found only in males, that lies just below the bladder (storage chamber of urine) and envelops the urethra (the tube that transports urine from the bladder for elimination). Prostate cancer, one of the most common type of cancer diagnosed in United States, has higher incidence in men who have crossed 65 years of age. Obesity, diet high in fatty foods, overweight and genetic susceptibility are some of the risk factors of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
As the tumor begins to form in the prostate tissues, the size of the prostate gland starts increasing. The slow enlarging of the prostate eventually starts exerting excessive pressure on the urethra. This can cause a wide range of urinating problems. In most cases, the symptoms occur when the tumor has grown significantly big and is pushing the urethra considerably. They are discussed below:
The person has to visit the toilet to pee more often than usual. Sitting for even half an hour without urinating may seem difficult. Although the urine output is not high, there is urgency to urinate frequently, especially at night.
Burning pain while urinating can also be a sign of early prostate cancer. Inflamed prostate associated with this type of cancer can cause pain while passing urine. The pain is usually experienced at the tip of the penis during urination.
Trouble Initiating and Stopping Urine
Facing a hard time to start and stop the urine stream can be a warning sign of early prostate cancer. The person is observed urinating in waves and finds it difficult to maintain a steady urine flow. Apart from interrupted urine flow, there may be a lack of force to the urine flow. To be precise, weak or slow urine stream is observed, which may indicate serious issues with the prostate (including cancer).
The partial blockage of urethra due to enlarged prostate can cause urinary incontinence in the form of urine leakage. The bladder is unable to empty itself completely, so the urine remaining may drain (rather dribble) unpredictably. Even after taking a trip to the toilet, small amount of urine may continue to leak randomly. The person may also accidentally leak urine while laughing or sneezing.
Other Urological Issues
Pain upon ejaculation, trouble getting and maintaining an erection are some of the other symptoms of prostate cancer. As the malignancy spreads to nearby areas, the person may experience consistent pain in the groin, pelvic and lower back region. In the later stages of cancer, the inflamed prostate damages the urethra, which may cause bleeding. So, as the cancer advances, blood in the urine or semen may be observed.
Research shows that image-guided biopsy may be more effective in early diagnosis of prostate cancer as compared to other traditional tests such as digital rectal examination and PSA test. In case, presence of cancer is confirmed, other tests that include MRI and CT scan may be carried out to check how far the cancer has penetrated into other parts of the body.
Wait and Watch Approach
This approach comes into picture when the cancer is detected early and found to be non progressive. A medical check-up of the patient that involves undergoing all the necessary tests, is done on a regular basis to assess the cancer status.
In case the cancer is observed to be progressing, surgery may be recommended. Radical Prostatectomy, which is a complete removal of all the prostate and nearby tissue that could also have been affected. In addition there is a type of surgery that is used to allow enough nerve tissue so that erections remain possible and thus not terminate the sexual life of the person involved.
This involves bombarding an external beam of radiation on the prostate tissue or implantation of a radioactive seed in the prostate by way of a needle. These are generally outpatient surgeries.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.