What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer symptoms do not usually manifest themselves in the early stages of the disease. Less than five percent of men with prostate cancer show early urinary symptoms. The condition has usually progressed to later stages when prostate cancer symptoms do arise.
Some men may experience symptoms that can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Others may find out during a routine check-up, a blood test, or a rectal exam with their doctor. Because the symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to other symptoms patients, will need to go through further testing to determine whether they actually have prostate cancer.
Soreness In The Groin
When prostate cancer spreads, its common for cancer cells to go to your lymph nodes and then move to more areas of your body. The lymph nodes are a network of glands that help your body filter fluids and fight infections.
There are several lymph nodes in your groin. These are the ones closest to your prostate, so its common for the cancer to spread to them first. Cancer cells prevent your lymph nodes from draining fluid and working properly. When this happens, your lymph nodes swell. As a result, you might experience pain or soreness in the area.
Staging Of Prostate Cancer
The stage of a cancer describes its size and how far it has spread. The results of your tests help your doctors decide on the stage and plan your treatment.
We understand that waiting to know the stage and grade of your cancer can be a worrying time. Were here if you need someone to talk to. You can:
Macmillan is also here to support you. If you would like to talk, you can:
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Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:
- Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
- Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
- Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.
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Further Treatments To Control The Cancer
Your first treatment may help keep your cancer under control. But over time, the cancer may change and start to grow again. If this happens you might be offered other treatments, including:
- more hormone therapy
- clinical trials
More hormone therapy
If youve had hormone therapy on its own as a first treatment, you might be offered a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel . This may help some men to live longer, and can help to improve and delay symptoms. If youve already had docetaxel, you might be offered more docetaxel or another chemotherapy drug called cabazitaxel .
This is a type of internal radiotherapy that may be an option if your cancer has spread to your bones and is causing pain. A radioactive liquid is injected into your arm and collects in bones that have been damaged by the cancer. It kills cancer cells in the bones and helps some men to live longer. It can also help to reduce bone pain and delay some symptoms, such as bone fractures. Read more about radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer.
Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Any T, any N, M1
Any Grade Group
The cancer might or might not be growing into tissues near the prostate and might or might not have spread to nearby lymph nodes . It has spread to other parts of the body, such as distant lymph nodes, bones, or other organs . The Grade Group can be any value, and the PSA can be any value.
Prostate cancer staging can be complex. If you have any questions about your stage, please ask someone on your cancer care team to explain it to you in a way you understand.
While the stage of a prostate cancer can help give an idea of how serious the cancer is likely to be, doctors are now looking for other ways to tell how likely a prostate cancer is to grow and spread, which might also help determine a mans best treatment options.
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Eating Problems And Weight Loss
Some men with advanced prostate cancer have problems eating, or dont feel very hungry. You might feel or be sick. These problems may be caused by your cancer or by your treatments. Being worried about things can also affect your appetite.
Problems eating or loss of appetite can lead to weight loss and can make you feel very tired and weak. Advanced prostate cancer can also cause weight loss by changing the way your body uses energy.
What can help?
If you feel sick because of your treatment, your doctor can give you anti-sickness drugs. Steroids can also increase your appetite and are sometimes given along with other treatments.
Try to eat small amounts often. If youre struggling to eat because of nausea , try to avoid strong smelling foods. Cold foods tend to smell less, or it may help if someone cooks for you. Try to eat when you feel less sick, even if its not your usual mealtime. Fatty and fried foods can make sickness worse. Drink plenty of water, but drink slowly and try not to drink too much before you eat.
Tell your doctor if you lose weight. They can refer you to a dietitian who can provide advice about high calorie foods and any supplements that might help. It can be upsetting for your family to see you losing weight, and they may also need support. Macmillan Cancer Support and provide support and information about eating problems in advanced cancer.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
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Gleason Prostate Cancer Score
1960s as a way to measure how aggressive your prostate cancer may be.
A pathologist determines your Gleason score by looking at a biopsy of your prostate tissue under a microscope. They grade the cells in the biopsy on a scale of 1 to 5. Grade 1 cells are healthy prostate, whereas grade 5 cells are highly mutated and dont resemble healthy cells at all.
The pathologist will calculate your Gleason score by adding together the number of the most prevalent type of cell in the sample and the second most prevalent type of cell.
For example, if the most common cell grade in your sample is 4 and the second most common is 4, you would have a score of 8.
A Gleason score of 6 is considered low-grade cancer, 7 is intermediate, and 8 to 10 is high-grade cancer.
I’m A Doctor And Heres Why Men Must Never Avoid A Rectal Examination
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS national clinical director for cancer said: “It is so helpful that celebrities like Rod Stewart and Jimmy Tarbuck have been brave enough to speak out about their diagnosis – there is no doubt that they are helping us in the NHS to fight against prostate cancer.
“It is vital that men come forward for checks when they sense something isnt right, and the NHS Long Term Plan is prioritising action to detect and treat more cancers earlier when the chance of survival is best.”
It comes after former BBC news presenter Bill Turnbull and TV star Stephen Fry also spoke out about their own experiences with prostate cancer.
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What Is A Grade Group
In 2014, the International Society of Urological Pathology released supplementary guidance and a revised prostate cancer grading system, called the Grade Groups.
The Grade Group system is simpler, with just five grades, 1 through 5.
*Risk Groups are defined by the Grade Group of the cancer and other measures, including PSA, clinical tumor stage , PSA density, and number of positive biopsy cores.
Many hospitals report both the Gleason score and the Grade Group, but there may be hospitals that still report only the old Gleason system.
Painful Or Burning Urination
Prostate cancer causes the gland to enlarge in size, affecting the normal flow of urine. Impedance to urine flow is the reason for painful micturition. It is also possible that painful urination occurs due to cancer spreading to surrounding structures. Prostate cancer is notorious for its nature of local invasion of surrounding structures like the urethra, bladder, and rectum. Burning during urination can be due to suppurative infection or side effects of the treatment of prostate cancer. The enlargement of the gland causes urinary obstruction and retention. Undue retention of urine inside the bladder can lead to infection of urethra and bladder leading to burning during urination.
Antibiotics can relieve the situation for a while, but the doctor needs to start treating prostate cancer to avoid further risks and complications. Discussing this problem with your doctor is the best possible choice to ward off the complications of undiagnosed prostate cancer. Family history and genetics are major risk factors of prostate cancer, but lifestyle changes and diet can make these warning signs more conspicuous as obesity can worsen your condition of painful micturition.
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So What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Unfortunately, there usually arent any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. Thats why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.
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In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.
That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter whats most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.
Download or order your free copy of the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide now with COVID-19 Appendix.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Though early warning signs of prostate cancer are rare, sometimes men experience symptoms before they are diagnosed. The severity of symptoms may depend on where the cancer is located in the prostate and how advanced it has become. However, having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer or that the disease has progressed beyond its early stages.
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Its A Good Idea To Ask Your Doctor When You Should Start Getting Screened For Prostate Cancer
Theres not a one-size-fits-all approach to when men should begin prostate cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk men discuss prostate cancer screening at age 50, while the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that some men get screened between the ages of 55 and 69.
Some prostate cancer experts, like Hung, think men should consider screening even earlier.
I recommend that men between the ages of 45 to 49 have a baseline PSA test, he says. Depending on the baseline PSA, they should have a PSA test every one to two years until the age of 70.
Since each man has different risk factors, you and your doctor should discuss your individual situation.
The decision to do a PSA test should be a shared decision between the patient and physician, Hung says.
What Is Advanced Prostate Cancer
When prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate or returns after treatment, it is often called advanced prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is often grouped into four stages, with stages III and IV being more advanced prostate cancer.
- Early Stage | Stages I & II: The tumor has not spread beyond the prostate.
- Locally Advanced | Stage III: Cancer has spread outside the prostate but only to nearby tissues.
- Advanced | Stage IV: Cancer has spread outside the prostate to other parts such as the lymph nodes, bones, liver or lungs.
When an early stage prostate cancer is found, it may be treated or placed on surveillance . Advanced prostate cancer is not curable, but there are many ways to treat it. Treatment can help slow advanced prostate cancer progression.
There are several types of advanced prostate cancer, including:
With biochemical recurrence, the prostate-specific antigen level has risen after treatment using surgery or radiation, with no other sign of cancer.
Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone treatment and is only found in the prostate. This is found by a rise in the PSA level, while the testosterone level stays low. Imaging tests do not show signs the cancer has spread.
Metastatic Prostate Cancer
- Lymph nodes outside the pelvis
- Other organs, such as liver or lungs
Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer
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What Does Prostate Cancer Feel Like
Difficulty with urination frequency, weak stream, trouble getting started, etc. is usually the first sign of prostate cancer. But the early symptoms can also come from benign prostate conditions, so diagnostic testing is important.
The prostate is the gland in a mans pelvis that wraps around the urethra and secretes the fluid part of semen. A working prostate is crucial for ejaculation and sexual intercourse.
Early Prostate Cancer Warning Signs Men Should Look Out For
Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK
Men are being told to watch out for seven key signs that could signal that they have prostate cancer.
The disease, which affects one in eight men in the UK, is largely symptomless, reports Leicestershire Live.
Chances of survival are entirely dependent on when the disease is diagnosed, meaning the seven telltale signs could make all the difference.
The call for wider awareness of prostate cancer comes as 100 percent of people diagnosed at its earliest stage survive for five years or more.
About 78 percent of those diagnosed will survive for 10 or more years, but this all comes down to when a diagnosis is made.
A key issue for late diagnosis is often linked to the fact that prostate cancer doesnt usually cause any symptoms in its early stages. This means men often wont get tested until it can be too late.
However, experts say seven key signs can lead men towards an earlier diagnosis – and many are linked to urinating.
Mainly centred around a change in urinary habits, this is more likely to mean an enlarged prostate than prostate cancer for a concerned man, but regardless, people are still urged to get it checked out.
Over the years, many men will suffer issues with urination, some of which can be linked to prostate cancer.
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