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.
What Are The Four Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer stages range from 1 through 4.
- Stage 1 means the cancer is on one side of the prostate. …
- Stage 2 means the cancer remains confined to the prostate gland. …
- Stage 3 means the cancer is locally advanced. …
- Stage 4 means the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.
Other Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Some prostate cancer symptoms are less common and in some men may be associated with more advanced disease.
If you experience any of these prostate cancer symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately. There are many tests and procedures available for prostate cancer diagnosis and many options for prostate cancer treatment.
Originally published in February 2016 and updated.
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How Common Is Prostate Cancer
About one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting males. Close to 200,000 American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year. There are many successful treatments and some men dont need treatment at all. Still, approximately 33,000 men die from the disease every year.
What You Can Do
Its important that you learn all you can about advanced prostate cancer so you can make informed decisions. Be open with your doctors and others on your healthcare team. Express your concerns and feel free to advocate for yourself and your quality of life. Get another medical opinion if you feel its necessary.
Some complementary therapies may prove helpful in coping with advanced cancer. For example:
- tai chi, yoga, or other movement therapy
- meditation, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques
A variety of services can help you with everything from lodging while youre getting treatment to getting some help around the house. Communicating with online or in-person groups are a good way to share information and lend mutual support.
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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.
Common Prostate Cancer Signs And Symptoms That You Should Be Aware Of Include:
Pain or burning while urinating
A weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
Frequent or urgent need to urinate, especially at night
Difficulty starting urination and/or straining to empty the bladder
Discomfort when sitting
Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
Loss of bladder control
Pain or pressure in the lower back, hips, testicles, rectum, or pelvis
Recent trouble getting an erection
Most of the symptoms listed above can be the result of something other than prostate cancer. For example, urination issues could be related to benign prostatic hypertrophy , which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. Additionally, ED issues could be related to factors such as smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or simply getting older.
Even still, if you are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer, its important to have them checked out by a doctor, even if they turn out to be something other than prostate cancer.
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How Are These Conditions Diagnosed
If you’re 40 or over, a digital rectal exam may be part of your routine physical, even if you have no symptoms. This is a way for your doctor to feel for abnormalities of your prostate. For the exam, your doctor slides a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. It only takes a moment or two, but it allows your doctor to check your prostate for:
- Size, firmness, and texture
- Lumps or growths
- Tenderness or pain
Your doctor may also examine your scrotum and nearby lymph nodes, glands that are part of your immune system. The results of the exam, along with your symptoms and family health history, help determine the next steps. If your doctor suspects an issue, they may refer you to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the male reproductive system and urinary problems.
A prostate-specific antigen blood test can help detect prostate cancer. PSA is a protein made in the prostate. If you have prostate cancer, you usually have higher levels of PSA in your blood.
But high PSA doesnât necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. Some people have a naturally higher PSA level than others. A few other reasons for elevated PSA include:
- Proctitis, a type of inflammation of the prostate
- A recent medical procedure, such as prostate surgery or biopsy
What Are The Treatments For Prostate Cancer
Your doctor may suggest approaches called active surveillance or watchful waiting when your cancer:
- Hasnât spread beyond your prostate
- Is slow growing
- Isnât causing symptoms
That means your doctor wonât treat the cancer. But with active surveillance, youâll get testing and exams every 1-3 years to keep an eye on it. Watchful waiting involves less frequent testing. Itâs more focused on managing any symptoms you might have.
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on things like:
- What stage your cancer is in when youâre diagnosed
Treatments can include:
Radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. External beam radiation targets a precise area. Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy in which your doctor places radioactive seeds inside your prostate.
Prostatectomy. This is surgery to remove your prostate. Your surgeon can do this either through an abdominal incision or laparoscopically, which uses smaller incisions and a camera to help guide the surgery.
Focal therapies. These include newer localized treatments for prostate cancer such as:
- High-intensity focused ultrasound, like that used for BPH
- Cryotherapy, which uses very cold temperatures to kill cancerous cells
- Laser ablation, which works by laser energy
Systemic therapies are designed to treat the whole body. When cancer has spread outside the prostate, your doctor may recommend:
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Early Stage Prostate Cancer
If the cancer is small and localized, a doctor may recommend:
Watchful waiting or monitoring
The doctor may check PSA blood levels regularly but take no immediate action. Prostate cancer grows slowly, and the risk of treatment side effects may outweigh the need for immediate treatment.
A surgeon may carry out a radical prostatectomy to remove the tumor. In addition to removing the prostate, the procedure may also involve the removal of the surrounding tissue, seminal vesicles, and nearby lymph nodes. A doctor can perform this procedure using either open, laparoscopic, or robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery.
This uses radiation to kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing. Options for early stage prostate cancer may include :
External radiation therapy: This method uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer cells. Conformal radiation therapy is a type of external radiation that uses a computer to help guide and target a specific area, minimizing the risk to healthy tissue and allowing a high dose of radiation to reach the prostate tumor.
Internal radiation therapy: Also known as brachytherapy, this method uses radioactive seeds that a doctor implants near the prostate. A surgeon uses imaging scans, such as ultrasound or computed tomography to help guide the placement of the radioactive substance.
Treatment will depend on various factors. A doctor will discuss the best option for the individual.
Expert Review And References
- American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging. 2019: .
- Garnick MB . Harvard Medical School 2015 Annual Report on Prostate Diseases. 2015.
- Hermanns T, Kuk C, Zlotta AR. Clinical presentation, diagnosis and staging. Nargund VH, Raghavan D, Sandler HM . Urological Oncology. Springer 2015: 40: 697-718.
- Logothetis CJ, Kim J, Davis J, Kuban D, Mathew P, Aparicio A. Neoplasms of the prostate. Hong WK, Bast RC Jr, Hait WN, et al . Holland Frei Cancer Medicine. 8th ed. People’s Medical Publishing House 2010: 94: 1228-1254.
- PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. Prostate Cancer Treatment Patient Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute 2020: .
- PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. Prostate Cancer Treatment Health Professional Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute 2020: .
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Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer Spread To The Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are part of a system of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluid and fights infection.
There are lots of lymph nodes in the groin area, which is close to the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes in the groin area, or to other parts of the body. The most common symptoms are swelling and pain around the area where the cancer has spread.
Cancer cells can stop lymph fluid from draining away. This might lead to swelling in the legs due to fluid build up in that area. The swelling is called lymphoedema.
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Risk Factors For Bph And Prostate Cancer
The word âbenignâ in benign prostatic hyperplasia means itâs not cancer. âHyperplasiaâ means an increased number of cells. BPH is also known as an enlarged prostate.
Itâs not clear what causes an enlarged prostate, but age appears to play a role. The main male hormone is testosterone, and your testosterone level naturally goes down with age.
Along with testosterone, you produce smaller amounts of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone and the female hormone estrogen. Some researchers theorize that as your testosterone drops, it leaves you with higher proportions of estrogen and DHT. This could prompt prostate cells to spread.
The main risk factors for BPH are being male and being older. Itâs rare if youâre under 40. Half of all men between ages 51 and 60 have BPH. It may affect as many as 90% of men older than 80.
Other risk factors for BPH include:
- Family history: Having blood relatives with BPH boosts your risk
- Overall health: Conditions such as diabetes or heart disease increase your odds
- Obesity and lifestyle: Obesity may raise your risk, while exercise can lower it
Cancer starts when cells develop changes in their DNA, causing abnormal cells to grow out of control. Exactly what sets this off in prostate cells isnât clear.
As with BPH, the biggest risk factors for prostate cancer are being male and aging. Those 50 and up are at highest risk. About 13 of every 100 men will get prostate cancer during their lifetimes.
Other risk factors are:
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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What Is The Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer
No matter where prostate cancer spreads, its still treated as prostate cancer. Its harder to treat when it reaches an advanced stage.
Treatment for advanced prostate cancer involves targeted and systemic therapies. Most men need a combination of treatments and they may have to be adjusted from time to time.
How To Know Whether It Is Cancer
If you have any of the mentioned signs, you should see a doctor. They will take the steps to rule out cancer.
However, you can read here the different options :
· RECTAL EXAMINATION
The doctor checks your prostate through your rectum, with a finger. The prostate is in contact with the rectum so this is the way to palpate it.
By doing so, the doctor can check if it is enlarged, if it has hard nodules
It is detected through a blood test. The more prostatic tissue you have, the higher value of PSA you have.
It is useful if you have a normal PSA value because that virtually rules out cancer. If your PSA is okay, your prostate is probably ok.
However, if you have a high PSA then you have more prostatic tissue than normal. Maybe you have BPH .
Prostatitis also causes a high PSA, because of the irritated tissue.
So if PSA is normal then everything is good. If PSA is highyou probably need some extra tests to find out what is wrong.
An increased PSA can be due to prostate cancer, but also to BPH and prostatitis.
· PROSTATE MRI
You go inside the MRI machine and stay still for around 30 minutes.
Usually, it also requires intravenous contrast so you will need an IV line.
- This test will tell the doctor if there are any suspiciousnodules inside the prostate. Also, it will show the prostate cancer stage.
- It will also show if it is a large prostate, but with no malignant nodules .
If there are no nodules, everythings fine. If there are you may need a biopsy.
· PROSTATE BIOPSY
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What Causes Prostate Cancer
Researchers don’t know for sure what causes prostate cancer. They do know that it happens when there are changes in the genetic material .
Sometimes these genetic changes are inherited, meaning that you are born with them. There are also certain genetic changes that happen during your lifetime that can raise your risk of prostate cancer. But often the exact cause of these genetic changes is unknown.
Do You Know The Five Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Do you know that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men next to skin cancer? Do you know that the prostate is a vital part of a mans reproductive system? Do you know men can have both benign and cancerous growths in the prostate gland? Most importantly, do you know the five warning signs of prostate cancer? Every man should know when to take action.
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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.
The Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer can be silent. It usually is, at least while it is small. It doesnt cause any symptoms at that moment.
Thats because it usually grows in the periphery of the prostate, far from the urethra.
After it grows a little, you can start to get some symptoms. These are the most common:
As you can see, all these signs and symptoms are related to urination and .
For example, as the prostate surrounds the urethra, prostate cancer may make it harder to pee.
The tumor will narrow the duct and the urine flow will diminish. Thats when we find it difficult to urinate. Either through trouble starting or being unable to stop.
Also, the effort of the bladder against the obstacle can cause a burning sensation or pain
And so on many of these signs are due to this obstacle mechanism.
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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.