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Can You Feel If You Have Prostate Cancer

Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer

Is Prostate Cancer Fatal? | Ask A Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.

What Can Prostate Cancer Feel Like

Fatigue: This can be both because of the treatment or the presence of cancer itself. The process has a mental and an emotional toll as well, so it is important to keep a check on your therapy, diet, physical activity and sleeping routine.

Pain: You may feel severe or no pain depending on the location of the tumor. A stinging pain is characteristic specifically to when the cancer is spread in the bones. This may weaken them, making them vulnerable to fractures or soreness. So, if you are wondering if prostate cancer hurts, the answer is yes. However, the degree of severity can vary. The sensations can be burning, stabbing, tingling, or numbing.

Issues in Bowel Movement: This includes constipation, diarrhea, the urgency to excrete feces, or no control over fecal excretion thus causing leakage.

Lack of Sexual Drive: Prostate cancer in men affects a body part that is deemed very personal. The inactivity signals aging, which is a source of stress, but it is actually more than that. One of the signs of prostate cancer is erectile dysfunction the odds of which are elevated after getting treatment for this cancer. Androgen Deprivation Therapy is when this cancer is ought to be treated by decreasing the levels of testosterone, and that can affect your sex life adversely.

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The Controversy About Using Psa For Prostate Cancer Screening

A delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer increases the chance of cancer spreading. How then, can anyone be opposed to PSA screening? Can an early diagnosis of cancer be bad? Surprisingly, experience has shown PSA is actually over-sensitive, leading to the unnecessary diagnosis of 100,000 men annually who have such harmless early-stage cancers that they are at practically zero risk for it spreading.

This would not be a problem if the medical system was prepared to simply monitor these harmless cancers. Unfortunately, due to these tiny specks of disease being called cancer, doctors and patients alike overreact and rush into unnecessary radical treatment, risking terrible problems with sexual and urinary function.

In fact, over-treatment of harmless prostate cancer has become such a gargantuan problem that in 2011, a government-sponsored team of experts, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, issued a dire warning recommending that routine PSA screening should cease. This task force concluded that the terrible cost of so many men being harmed by unnecessary treatment outweighed the benefit of lives saved by early detection. Many primary care physicians have taken this government recommendation to heart and have decided to forgo routine annual PSA screening since they believe it is causing more harm than good.

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Recognizing The Risk Factors

  • 1Keep in mind that age is the most significant risk factor for developing prostate cancer. Men younger than 40 have a rare incidence of prostate cancer, but the chances increase rapidly after 50 years of age. Statistics show that 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men 65 and older.XResearch sourceParker PM, Rice KR, Sterbis JR, Chen Y, Cullen J, McLeod DG, Brassell SA. Prostate cancer in men less than the age of 50: a comparison of race and outcomes. Urology. 2011 78:110.
  • It has been hypothesized that the increase risk with age may be due do DNA and anti-cancer protective mechanisms becoming weaker with age and thus more susceptible to cellular and genetic mutations. Mutations often lead to abnormal cells, such as cancer.
  • 2Factor in your ethnicity. According to the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is more common in men of African descent than in white or Hispanic men.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Cancer SocietyNonprofit devoted to promoting cancer research, education, and supportGo to source
  • 3Consider your family history. A positive family history plays a role in the development of prostate cancer. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer doubles a man’s risk for developing the disease. The risk is higher in men with several affected relatives.
  • Studies have shown that certain mutations in inherited genes may potentially raise the risk for prostate cancer but accounts for a small fraction of cases.
  • What You Can Do Now

    Prostate Cancer, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment  Mediologiest

    Sexual side effects from prostate cancer treatment are often temporary, especially if your doctor used nerve-sparing surgery. While your body recovers, you can try a few things to maintain your sex life:

    • Let your doctor know about any sexual problems youre having right away. Although it can be hard to talk about sex, being open and honest will help you get the treatment you need.
    • See a therapist. Couples therapy can help you and your partner understand and deal with sexual issues.
    • Take care of yourself by exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep. Looking and feeling your best will give your self-esteem and mood a boost.

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    Detecting Prostate Cancer With Psa Screenings

    Now that we have PSA screening, it means that it is practically impossible for undiagnosed prostate cancer to cause discomfort, urinary problems, difficulty with erections, or any other symptom related to prostate cancer. This is not to say that men cant have prostate symptoms from noncancerous causes, such as prostatitis, benign glandular swelling, urinary tract infections, or sexually transmitted diseases. But PSA testing can ensure that any symptoms that may be present are coming from something unrelated to prostate cancer.

    Cancer is such a frightening word that I feel compelled to draw attention to the widely false reporting that prostate cancer causes symptoms. So if prostate cancer is practically guaranteed to have no symptoms, assuming the PSA has been tested and is in the normal range, why do websites provide a long list of symptoms caused by prostate cancer? How can so much misinformation exist?

    Basically, these websites hark back to a bygone era, describing a situation that existed before PSA testing was available. The symptoms they list, like bone pain, changes in urination, fatigue, pelvic pain, only occur in men with advanced disease. These websites are not acknowledging that men with normal PSA levels are unable to harbor advanced disease.

    What Happens Without Treatment

    Healthcare providers will sometimes talk about a particular diseases natural history or typical progression if it is left untreated indefinitely.

    With regard to prostate cancer, most cases of the disease are discovered while the cancer is still confined to the prostate itself. This is called local disease or localized disease.

    The disease is easiest to treat while it is confined to the prostate. At this stage, surgery and radiation are most likely to be curative and completely kill or remove whatever cancer cells are present.

    If left untreated, however, prostate cancer can proceed on a number of different paths.

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    Side Effects Of Radical Prostatectomy

    The most common side effects of the procedure are incontinence and erectile dysfunction . The incontinence, though common early after surgery, usually goes away. Whether erectile function returns depends on whether the nerves surrounding the prostate can be spared at surgery, patient age and baseline function. Men who are older or already have erection problems are most likely to have erectile dysfunction afterward.

    For more information on erectile dysfunction and treatment, see Managing Erectile Dysfunction A Patient Guide.

    Sex After Prostatectomy: How To Have A Healthy Sex Life After Surgery

    10 Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

    Prostate health issues such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer affect hundreds of thousands of men in the United States every year.

    If youve been diagnosed with a serious prostate issue, your healthcare provider may suggest a prostatectomy a surgical procedure in which your part or all of your prostate gland is surgically removed from your body.

    Prostate removal surgery is usually highly effective at treating cancer and prostate enlargement , but it can potentially lead to complications.

    These include some sexual performance issues, such as erectile dysfunction and difficulty ejaculating normally.

    Although these effects can change your sexual experience, many men are still able to enjoy a fulfilling, satisfying sex life after prostate surgery by making certain lifestyle changes and using medication.

    Below, weve talked about what to expect if youre scheduled to undergo a prostatectomy and want to maintain an active sex life after surgery.

    Weve also explained how you can have a healthy sex life after a partial or complete prostate removal, whether through exercises to improve sexual functioning, medications, devices or a combination of different approaches.

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    What Is Bph And How Does It Affect Me

    The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As a man ages, the prostate gets larger and begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing uncomfortable symptoms. It may be responsible for blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder, and can cause issues in the bladder, urinary tract, or kidneys.

    Where Prostate Cancer Spreads

    If left untreated, diagnosed prostate cancer can grow and possibly spread outside of the prostate to local tissues or distantly to other sites in the body. The first sites of spread are typically to the nearby tissues.

    The cancer can spread down the blood vessels, lymphatic channels, or nerves that enter and exit the prostate, or cancer could erode directly through the capsule that surrounds the prostate.

    The seminal vesicles are a site of particularly common early spread. More extensive local spread can occur with cancer invading the nearby bladder or rectum.

    Further advancement of cancer can occur when cancer cells enter the blood vessels and lymphatic channels. Once cancer has entered into these vessels, prostate cancer cells can seed into virtually any other part of the body.

    Prostate cancer is known to have a particular affinity for spreading or metastasizing to the bones especially the lower spine, pelvis, and femur. Other organs such as the liver, brain, or lungs can also be the sites of spread, but these are much rarer.

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    Testing Options For Prostate Cancer

    There is no one age for prostate cancer testing, but the American Cancer Society makes recommendations about screenings. According to the ACS, patients in any of these groups should consider asking their doctor about testing:

    • Men age 50 or older who have an average risk of prostate cancer and a life expectancy of at least 10 more years
    • Men age 45 or older with a high risk, including African-American men and those with a first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65
    • Men age 40 or older who have a higher risk, such as more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age

    Your Gp Practice Nurse And District Nurse

    Men should not ignore signs, symptoms of prostate cancer: Linda Rhodes ...

    Your GP, practice nurse, and district or community nurse will work with other health professionals to co-ordinate your care and offer you support and advice. They can also refer you to local services. They can visit you in your home and also help support your family. They might also care for you if you go into a nursing home or hospice.

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    What Happens If You Are Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

  • What Happens If You Are Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer? Center
  • A diagnosis with prostate cancer does not mean that a persons life has come to a full stop. Many people with prostate cancer, if diagnosed early, go on to live for many years. If the disease is diagnosed in very early stages, the doctor may only keep the patient under surveillance and treat as required. However, the patient must make some changes in their life during and after the treatment.

    Some of the adjustments include

    Changes in sex life: If a patient had surgery to remove their prostate gland, they may have erectile dysfunction. This may be a symptom of cancer and a result of the treatment. Some of the risks after an operation or a radiation therapy are

    • Trouble getting erections

    Some of the alternative options to bladder removal surgery include

    • Nerve-sparing surgery
    • More precise radiation therapy where a radioactive seed is placed inside the prostate

    Most problems may go away on their own once the body heals completely. Some of the methods to improve sex life post-surgery include

    Bladder control: Most men with prostate cancer may have trouble with their bladders. Some of the side effects include

    • Feel the urge to use the bathroom all the time
    • Unable to pass urine at will
    • Leak in between trips to the toilet
    • Having a weak stream of urine

    They can work on all these issues by talking to a professional, people close to them or other survivors.

    Could Your Symptoms Be Prostate Cancer 11 Signs You Might Have Prostate Problems

    Lets face it: Many of us put off seeing a doctor until things get worrisome. But for your own good and for the sake of the people you love, its important to take charge of your health. And knowing about prostate problems should be high on your priority list.

    Prostate cancer often has not symptoms in the early stages, and those that do appear early namely problems with urination can mimic those caused by benign conditions associated with aging. What should you be on the look out for?

    Lets face it: Many of us put off seeing a doctor until things get worrisome. But for your own good and for the sake of the people you love, its important to take charge of your health. And knowing about prostate problems should be high on your priority list.

    Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men , and the second leading cause of cancer death. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 161,000 American men were diagnosed in 2017 it was the cause of nearly 27,000 deaths that year.

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    Symptoms Of Metastatic Prostate Cancer

    Metastatic prostate cancer means that a cancer that began in the prostate gland has spread to another part of the body. It is also called advanced prostate cancer.

    If your prostate cancer has spread you might:

    • have bone pain
    • feel generally unwell
    • have weight loss for no known reason

    You might have specific symptoms depending on where the cancer has spread to. These symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions so might not be a sign that the cancer has spread.

    Sex Life And Prostate Cancer

    Which is Better – Surgery vs. Radiation for Prostate Cancer?
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    We have included information about managing side effects in our information on individual treatments. As your side effects improve, you may feel more interested in having sex.

    If cancer and its treatments affect your sex life, it can feel like a serious loss. You do not need to be in a relationship to feel this. But there are different ways to manage sexual difficulties.

    Cancer and its treatments can also affect how you feel and think about your body. You may feel less sexually attractive. If you are having issues with your body image, ask your doctor or nurse for advice.

    Certain lifestyle changes may help improve body image concerns, such as being more physically active, eating healthily and managing your weight. Ask your doctor or nurse for advice.

    Prostate cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life.

    Different cancer treatments may:

    • affect your ability to have an orgasm or to ejaculate
    • the penis and testicles to get smaller if you are taking hormonal therapy for a long time.

    If you are having sexual difficulties, there are different treatments and types of support to help you.

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    Look Out For These Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. Nearly, 200,000 men are diagnosed every year. Thanks to research and innovation, prostate cancer is also one of the most treatable cancers. In some cases, the cancer doesnt pose an immediate threat to patients due to slow growth. However, for some, the cancer can spread quickly and affect surrounding organs. Understanding the warning signs and risk factors is vital.

    As with any cancer, early detection is key in increasing your ability to fight prostate cancer. To discuss the warning signs, we spoke with Suraj Singh, MD, a radiation oncologist at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center at North Colorado Medical Center. He explained that early signs for prostate cancer can be subtle. Often, patients dont feel symptoms until the cancer is more advanced. Its just as important to understand your risk factors, said Dr. Singh, so that you take steps to find the cancer before you ever start feeling its effects.

    Risk factors include age, family history, race, diet, race and other health issues. Banner MD Anderson recommends men start a conversation with their doctor about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening at age 45.

    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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