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How Do You Know If You Have Prostate Cancer

Bladder And Urinary Troubles

How do you know if you have prostate cancer?

A prostate tumor that has grown significantly in size may start to press on your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the passage the carries urine from your bladder out of your body. If the tumor is pressing on your urethra, you might have trouble passing urine.

One of the common areas for prostate cancer to spread to is the bladder, because the two organs are close. This can cause additional problems with urination and bladder function.

Some symptoms your bladder and urethra are being affected by cancer include:

  • urinating more frequently
  • getting up in the middle of the night to pee
  • having blood in your urine or semen
  • feeling like you have to urinate often and not actually passing anything

Its not as common, but prostate cancer can also spread to your bowel. The cancer first spreads to the rectum, which is the part of your bowel closest to the prostate gland.

Symptoms of cancer thats spread to the bowels include:

  • stomach pain

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Prostate cancer has the potential to grow and spread very quickly. It is important for patients to discuss their various testing options with HSP Group. The number of men being diagnosed with cancer is rising year on year. Men need to be pro-active and educated to recognise the warning signs of prostate cancer and other male cancers. Early detection can save your life. We encourage regular self-examinations and cancer screenings as symptoms dont always present until the cancer has spread.

What is a Prostate?

The prostate is a walnut sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system and located beneath the bladder in front of the rectum.

Why do men have a prostate?

The prostate makes some of the fluid, or juices, that nourishes and protects the sperm, tadpole like, cells in the semen .

How does the prostate grow and remain active?

The activity and growth of the prostate is stimulated by the male hormones called Androgens.

Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, there are certain aspects of life that may increase your chance of having prostate cancer.

These include:

Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get Prostate cancer. Most men with any of the above risk factors never develop this disease.

How do I test for Prostate Cancer?

PSA testing can be done by means of a basic finger prick test and if a positive result is found, a PSA blood test will then be recommended to determine the actual level of the PSA.

  • An enlarged prostate

Your Cancer Care Team

People with cancer should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team . This is a team of specialists who work together to provide the best care and treatment.

The team often consists of specialist cancer surgeons, oncologists , radiologists, pathologists, radiographers and specialist nurses.

Other members may include physiotherapists, dietitians and occupational therapists. You may also have access to clinical psychology support.

When deciding what treatment is best for you, your doctors will consider:

  • the type and size of the cancer
  • what grade it is
  • whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body

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Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

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In an effort to stay safe from coronavirus, many of us have put off the annual screenings and check-ups where cancers are often caught. That’s understandable. Still, early detection is one of the best weapons against the disease.

Screenings can detect a cancer before symptoms appear. You too can pick up on early warning signs by paying close attention to changes in your body. If you notice something new or different that lasts several weeks and several weeks is key reach out to your health care provider. Not every symptom that could be cancer is cancer. But here are 17 symptoms that may warrant a call to your doctor:

What About Other Treatments I Hear About

What Happens If You Have Prostate Cancer

When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.

Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.

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Who Is More Likely To Develop Prostate Cancer

Anyone who has a prostate can develop prostate cancer. But certain factors can make you more likely to develop it:

  • Age. Your chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you get older. Prostate cancer is rare in people under age 50.
  • Family health history. Your risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have a parent, sibling, or child who has or has had prostate cancer.
  • Race. African Americans are more likely to get prostate cancer. They’re also more likely to:
  • Get prostate cancer at a younger age.
  • Have more serious prostate cancer.
  • Die from prostate cancer.

When Prostate Cancer Symptoms Are Not Related To Voiding

Prostate cancer.Creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Wikimedia Commons

Only when prostate cancer metastasizes to the bones and other organs do secondary and systemic symptoms of bone pain, weight loss and fatigue develop.

It is important to remember that the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will die with itnot from it.

Yet early detection and appropriate management will help to achieve the best outcome and quality of life for each individual.

If you are a man of African descent or have a family history of prostate cancer, you should discuss with your physician about the option of screening starting at age 40, explains Dr. Lutz.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer usually doesnt cause symptoms in its early stages. In fact, most men dont know they have prostate cancer until it is found during a regular medical exam. When unusual symptoms are noticed, theyre most often problems with urinating. But these same symptoms can also be caused by an enlarged prostate, so its important to talk with your doctor.

Typically, noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer dont occur until the cancer has begun to spread beyond the prostate, or its metastasized to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. At this point, prostate cancer signs and symptoms can include:

  • Not being able to urinate at all
  • Having a hard time starting or stopping the flow of urine
  • Having to urinate often, especially at night
  • Having pain or burning during urination
  • You have difficulty having an erection
  • You have blood in your urine or semen
  • You have deep and frequent pain in your lower back, belly, hip or pelvis

Anytime you experience unusual symptoms especially any of the symptoms mentioned above make an appointment with your family doctor or urologist. They can talk with you about your symptoms, do a physical exam if necessary and work with you to create a treatment plan, if necessary.

Experiencing symptoms of prostate problems? Dont delay getting the care you need.

How The Prostate Changes As You Age

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Because the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, it may squeeze the urethra and cause problems in passing urine. Sometimes men in their 30s and 40s may begin to have these urinary symptoms and need medical attention. For others, symptoms aren’t noticed until much later in life. An infection or a tumor can also make the prostate larger. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the urinary symptoms listed below.

Tell your doctor if you have these urinary symptoms:

  • Are passing urine more during the day
  • Have an urgent need to pass urine
  • Have less urine flow
  • Feel burning when you pass urine
  • Need to get up many times during the night to pass urine

Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems. The three most common prostate problems are inflammation , enlarged prostate , and prostate cancer.

One change does not lead to another. For example, having prostatitis or an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk of prostate cancer. It is also possible for you to have more than one condition at the same time.

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What Are The 5 Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

Each year, almost 250,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer. As with other forms of cancer, this is a dangerous disease that is more easily treated if detected early. Letâs discuss what may cause prostate cancer, the 5 common warning signs associated with it, and what to do if you suspect that you have it.

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Are There Complications Of Prostate Cancer And Treatment

Treatments can cause side effects, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction: More than 3 in every 4 men have problems with getting and keeping an erection after surgery. However, this can be minimised using nerve-sparing surgery techniques. Erectile dysfunction is also common after radiation therapy and ADT. There are effective treatments for erection problems.
  • Poor bladder control : 5% to 10% of men have problems with urine leakage within one year after prostate removal.
  • Urinary urgency: Radiation therapy can cause damage around the prostate, making you feel like going to the toilet more often.

Men who take ADT may also experience a reduced sex drive and hormone-related effects such as hot flushes, tiredness and sweating, loss of body hair and osteoporosis. ADT can also result in reduced muscle strength, an increased risk of getting heart disease and memory loss.

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A Suggested Psa Screening Protocol

Its reasonable to start checking PSA yearly in men over the ages of 45. Men with a family history of prostate cancer or men who are African-American should start annual testing at age 40. Men over age 75 who are in good health should continue screening.

So what is the trigger level of PSA that should lead to performing a scan? As noted above, younger men who have small prostate glands should consider doing a scan if the PSA is over 2.5. In an older man, particularly if the prostate gland as determined by the finger exam is big, a PSA over 4.0 is a reasonable threshold for obtaining imaging . The PSA blood test has far surpassed the wildest dreams of the doctors who discovered it. Like any powerful tool, however, misuse can lead to over-treatment and unnecessary harm.

So much of the misinformation on the internet implies that every ache, pain, or problem located near the prostate could be caused by cancer. The fact that the most frequently asked question related to prostate cancer is about prostate cancer symptoms indicates that the public is being led into all kinds of unnecessary anxiety.

Know this: As long as the PSA is in the normal range, in general, men can rest assured that any prostate-related symptoms they are experiencing are most likely originating from something unrelated to cancer. PSA testing detects early stage prostate cancer so reliably that when the PSA is normal, one can be sure that any prostate-related symptoms are due to some other cause.

What Are My Treatment Options With Advanced Prostate Cancer

How Do You Know When You Have Prostate Cancer

The treatments your doctor recommends will depend on factors specific to you, from your overall health to how advanced your cancer was when it was first diagnosed.

Many men receive ADT, a type of hormone therapy, which deprives the body of the male hormones that the cancer needs to keep growing.

For most men, however, hormone therapy stops working at some point. Alternatives to hormone therapy were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018, and Tagawa often starts men on these therapies as soon as theyre diagnosed with bone metastases. Other treatment options may be available through clinical trials.

In addition, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy as well as radiation treatments, like external beam radiation, which directly target bone problems may be considered. Major cancer centers, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, have teams of prostate cancer specialists, as well as sophisticated radiation and other treatment equipment consolidated in one place, which can help with the coordination of care.

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What Should I Do If I Have Prostate Cancer Symptoms

If you are displaying one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to promptly consult with a physician. Even benign prostate conditions like prostate enlargement warrant timely medical attention, so dont delay seeking treatment. And, like most other malignancies, prostate cancer is usually more easily treated when it is detected at an early stage.

Medically reviewed by Monica Chatwal, MD.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide a full range of diagnostic testing for prostate cancer. If you have received a prostate cancer diagnosis, we understand that every day counts, and we want to support you every step of the way. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on evaluating and treating prostate cancer.

Contact Moffitt at or complete a new patient registration form online to speak with one of our specialized oncologists about your symptoms. As Floridas top cancer hospital, were committed to providing all new patients rapid access to a cancer expert within a day of their reaching out.

Psa Elevation From Large Prostate Glands

Big prostate glands produce more PSA than small prostate glands. The best way to measure the size of the prostate is by using a scan. Finding an oversized gland can be good news, providing a benign and reassuring explanation for why the PSA is high.

Until recently, the only way to sort through all these possibilities of PSA elevation was to puncture the prostate 12 times with a needle biopsy to remove tissue cores for evaluation under the microscope. Due to an inordinate fear of missing cancer, many doctors recommended random biopsy anytime the PSA was slightly elevated. One million men are biopsied in the United States every year. This aggressive behavior was perhaps justified when biopsy was the only way to find cancer.

We now know, however, that scans using multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging are more accurate than a needle biopsy. The beauty of using a scan is that only men who have a suspicious abnormality detected by MRI need to undergo a biopsy. And importantly, the biopsy can be targeted. Only one or two cores are required. No more fishing through the rest of the gland with random needle sticks! Men with clear scans can avoid a biopsy altogether. Changing the policy from random biopsy to MP-MRI would solve the problem of over-diagnosis in men with high PSA.

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How Is Prostate Cancer Treated

Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on several factors:

  • whether the cancer is high risk
  • the stage of the cancer whether it is only found in the prostate or has it spread to elsewhere in the body?
  • the PSA level and how fast it might be changing
  • age and general health

Your doctor will recommend one or more of the following options if you have prostate cancer:

The Prostate And Prostate Cancer

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The prostate is a small gland found only in men and is part of the male reproductive system. It is the size of a walnut and surrounds the first part of the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The prostate lies close to the rectum through which it can be closely felt and examined for its size. The function of the prostate is to make some of the fluid used to carry sperm.

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A Note About Sex And Gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .

will depend on the cancer stage, among other factors, such as the Gleason score and PSA levels. It is also worth noting that many treatment options may be applicable, regardless of the stage of cancer.

In the sections below, we list some for prostate cancer and explore what treatment may mean for fertility.

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

Remember: urinary symptoms dont necessarily mean you have cancer. Prostatitis or BPH are benign diseases but can cause similar symptoms and are very common.

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.

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