Prostate cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer that strikes men, and many of the key symptoms overlap with those caused by less serious conditions (such as benign prostate hyperplasia). Consequently, it’s vital to talk to your doctor if you want to both avoid needless worry and ensure that any potential malignancy is treated as quickly as possible.
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Observe and be aware of the following ten symptoms – and seek medical advice if you begin to suffer from any of them.
1) Changes In Urine Flow
There are a number of problems that can make urinating more difficult or inhibit your ability to maintain a urine stream. For example, a urinary tract infection can sometimes be the culprit, and certain medications can interfere with urination. However, since the prostate is so close to the bladder and urethra, prostate problems are also a common cause of changes in urine flow. In fact, decreased urine flow is the first symptom in many cases. If you feel that you urine stream is weaker than before or become aware that the flow starts and stops, it is a good idea to make an appointment for a prostate exam.
2) Needing To Urinate More Often
An increased need to urinate is another common bladder symptom caused by prostate cancer. For example, you might find that scarcely an hour passes before you need to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom again. As with other urinary problems, there are many alternative explanations for needing to urinate more often, but prostate cancer should always be ruled out first.
3) Blood Appearing In The Semen
The prostate is involved in the production of semen, so it stands to reason that prostate cancer may cause noticeable changes in semen. In particular, you should look out for a color change that may indicate the presence of blood. If there is blood in your semen, it will have a pink, brown or reddish tinge to it, and such changes should always be discussed with your doctor. Infection and injury can also cause these color changes, but you should be screened for prostate, testicular and bladder cancers to be on the safe side.
4) Erectile Dysfunction
Most men experience problems achieving or sustaining an erection at some point, and the most common explanations are related to hormone changes, medication side effects and stress. However, prostate cancer can be the cause of erection difficulties. If you can’t easily explain any problems getting or maintaining an erection, discuss this with your doctor and make sure you mention that you are worried about your prostate health.
5) Pain During Ejaculation
If ejaculation begins to be painful instead of pleasurable, you should discuss this with a doctor as soon as possible. Prostate cancer can sometimes cause sharp pains during ejaculation, but it is also important to note any generalized discomfort. For example, if you would characterize the new sensation as an ache or a feeling of heaviness, this could also be a sign of prostate cancer.
6) Urinating More Often During The Night
Although an enlarged prostate is the most common cause of an increased need to urinate during the night, prostate cancer could also be the culprit. The only way to be sure is to be frank with your doctor and agree to participate in any tests that he or she deems necessary.
7) Aching And Stiffness
If you have a more serious form of prostate cancer, generalized aches and pains can be a symptom. For example, you might find that your limbs feel stiff and sore when they didn’t used to, or that you have developed a deep ache in your ribs or pelvic area.
8) Difficulty Passing Urine
Although changes in urine flow are common in men with prostate cancer, some men find that they have difficulty passing urine at all. If, for example, you struggle to begin urinating even after you have had plenty of liquid to drink, report this to your doctor. You should be especially concerned if you find that it typically takes around a minute for you to begin urinating.
9) Full Bladder Sensation
Men with prostate problems (including prostate cancer) often feel as though there is always liquid in the bladder and that it is impossible to fully empty the bladder. If your urinary output doesn’t accurately reflect your sense that you need to urinate, it is definitely worth having your prostate examined.
10) Pain When Urinating
Finally, urination can also become painful when prostate cancer develops. While urinary tract infections are a far more common explanation for stinging during urination, prostate cancer should always be considered if the pain doesn’t disappear after a course of antibiotics.
Here is the TV advert by Prostate Cancer UK campaigning ‘Men United’ to increase health awareness to beat this disease.