Prostate Problem Warning Signs
At Advanced Urology Institute, we frequently see first-time visitors with symptoms of advanced stage prostate problems. For us, that is quite heartbreaking because it means the patients come too late, when only limited treatment options are available for their conditions.
As urologists, we always want the best for our patients. We want to see them leave when they can pee better and are free from the embarrassment of accidental urine leaks. And because early detection and treatment of prostate problems whether prostate cancer or non-cancerous condition improve the chances of cure and of long-term survival, we always encourage men to be more mindful of their bodies, especially when it comes to their urinary function and habits. By doing that, they are able to detect warning signs of prostate issues early and can seek treatment.
Warnings signs of prostate problems include:
Psa Tests And Screening
Testing for cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. There is no national screening programme in Ireland, as theres little evidence that screening would reduce deaths from prostate cancer. It also could mean men having unnecessary treatment for very slow-growing prostate cancer, which could cause side-effects that affect their lives more than the cancer would.
If youre worried
Talk to your GP about:
- Your risk of prostate cancer eg if you have close family members with prostate cancer
- The pros and cons of prostate cancer screening
- What the tests involve
- The decisions you might have to make if your PSA was raised
- How these decisions might affect your life. Eg having treatment and getting side-effects
Should I use a home PSA test kit?
Prostate problems are best diagnosed by your GP, who can take your medical history and carry out a physical examination, as well as doing the PSA test.
Remember – your PSA level can be raised for other reasons it doesnt mean you have prostate cancer. Its also possible to have cancer and a normal PSA level. Read more about understanding PSA test results.
Diagnosing prostate cancer
Your family doctor will talk to you about your symptoms. He or she may do some tests. For example:
Digital rectal examination Inserting a gloved finger into your back passage to see if your prostate feels normal. It can be a little uncomfortable but it doesnt take long.
Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
When the bladder doesnt fully void, there runs a risk of developing chronic urinary tract infections. While more common in women, UTIs are do occur in men with enlarged prostate thats because bacteria can build up over time if it is not carried away through urination. Any sort of burning sensation, chills, or cloudy urine may be signs of a urinary tract infection and, thus, an enlarged prostate.
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What You Need To Know About Prostate Cancer
Unless it causes problems, most men dont give a lot of thought to their prostate. The small gland is responsible for producing seminal fluid , and its located beneath the bladder and around the urethra, the tube that transports fluid to the penis.
Most types of prostate cancer are known as adenocarcinomas, which are cancers that develop from gland cells, the Mayo Clinic says.
While some forms of prostate cancer grow and spread quickly, others grow quite slowly. The American Cancer Society notes that some people can have undetectable prostate cancer for decades without it causing any problems. But the risks of prostate cancer are quite serious, particularly as it begins to spread to other areas of the body.
What Are The Prostate Cancer Symptoms I Need To Look Out For
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. Symptoms of early prostate cancer can include:
- difficulty passing urine
- a slow, interrupted flow of urine
- frequent passing of urine, including at night
Symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer include:
- blood in urine
- pain during urination
- lower back or pelvic pain.
These symptoms are also found in men who may have benign prostatic hyperplasia , a common, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
What Should You Do If You Have The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
If you are presenting one or more of the warning signs of prostate cancer, then it would be wise to promptly consult with a qualified physician. Your symptoms may indicate another, less serious condition and even if you do receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, it is much easier to treat this disease when detected early on.
To learn more, contact our team of medical professionals at Care New England today.
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Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Owing to the closeness of the prostate gland to the bladder and urethra, these are most affected in the early-stage symptoms of cancer. The tumour constricts or adds pressure to the urethra, preventing the urine flow.
Although the early symptoms of prostate problems vary from patient to patient, some of the most commonly observed symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Burning or painful sensation while urinating
The patient might experience extreme pain and burning sensations while urinating due to chronic pelvic pain and pressure on pelvic muscles.
- Inability to start or stop urination
This inability happens when there is an enlargement of the prostate. An enlarged prostate can add pressure on the urethra which can then affect urination.
- Frequent need to urinate, especially at night
Due to an enlarged prostate, the patient might have to visit the washroom more than he should, especially at night. The enlarged prostate can narrow your urethra making it difficult for the individual to empty the bladder. An individual loses control of their bladder.
When the prostate gland gets big or enlarged it can block the free flow of the urine through the bladder and urethra.
- Blood in the semen, or in the urine
During ejaculation there might be chances that the blood vessels break along its route to the urethra. Blood from the broken vessels leak.
- Erectile dysfunction
Some of the most common symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer are as follows:
Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
One of the challenges of prostate cancer is that it often doesnt present symptoms that alert men to its presence, particularly in the early stages. But the Urology Care Foundation notes that there may be some warning signs that you have problems related to your prostate, including the following:
If you get screened for prostate cancer, there are additional warning signs based on how the prostate gland cells look under a microscope, notes the American Cancer Society. Cells that may be concerning will exhibit some level of what is known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia . These cells may exhibit low-grade PIN, in which something is slightly off with the cells, or high-grade PIN, when they show clear abnormalities.
Under a microscope, prostate gland cells may also exhibit what is known as proliferative inflammatory atrophy . PIA indicates cells that are smaller than normal and show some signs of inflammation. These cells may be worth additional monitoring because they could develop high-grade PIN and ultimately prostate cancer.
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When To See A Doctor
Consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms discussed on this page particularly if they have been going on for a while. You will need a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause, which may or may not be prostate cancer.
Its important to understand that other diseases or disorders can share these same symptoms. Benign prostatic hyperplasia , also called enlargement of the prostate, and are quite common. Men with these benign conditions can experience symptoms more often and more severely than men with prostate cancer.
Erectile dysfunction is relatively common, especially as one ages, and can also have causes unrelated to prostate cancer, such as smoking or cardiovascular disease. Experiencing a lower amount of fluid during ejaculation can be related to something as simple as diet or dehydration.
Its important to keep track of your symptoms, determining whats normal or abnormal for your own body. If you are worried about a particular symptom, or if its interfering with a relationship, you should discuss your concerns with your primary care physician.
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Where Does Prostate Cancer Spread
The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the:
- lymph nodes
A large tumour in the prostate gland can spread into or press on areas around the prostate, such as the back passage or urethra. The urethra is the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
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Recurrent Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer that returns after treatment is considered recurrent. When it returns to the area around the prostate, the disease is classified as a local recurrence. If the cancer is found in another part of the body, the recurrent cancer is considered metastatic. If the cancer metastasizes outside the prostate, it most likely develops in bones first. Metastatic prostate cancer most often spreads to the liver, bones and lungs.
After initial treatment for prostate cancer, PSA levels are expected to drop dramatically. The first sign of recurrent prostate cancer may be a rise in the PSA level. Other symptoms of recurrent cancer may depend on whether and where the cancer has spread. Symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty breathing
Patients should discuss any symptoms with their doctor and ask about scheduling regular PSA tests after treatment.
How Is Prostate Cancer Detected
There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .
The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.
A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.
If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.
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What Signs Should You Look For
The prostate is one of the key components of the male reproductive system. It is a walnut-sized gland that is located below the urinary bladder, and its main responsibility is to create seminal fluid. It is wrapped around the urethra, which is a hollow tube that transports urine or semen out of the body.
The size of the prostate naturally gets bigger with age. Fortunately, this doesnt cause any serious problems in most cases. However, an enlarged prostate can sometimes constrict the urethra, which typically leads to BPH. Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination, especially during nighttime
- Difficulty urinating
- Unsatisfactory urination
Prostatitis is a bacterial infection that can be considered as a kind of urinary tract infection in men. While it is rarely a serious condition, you should still go to your doctor as soon as you experience any of these symptoms:
- Painful urination and ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
What Increases Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Factors that can elevate risk prostate cancer include:
- A family history of prostate cancer
- Inherited genetic mutations, such as BRCA1/BRCA2 genes and Lynch syndrome
- Conditions such as prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, and benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland
- A diet high in red meats and high-fat dairy and low in fruits and vegetables
- Age: approximately 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men older than 65
- Race and ethnicity: African-American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
Research has also shown that a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, may reduce prostate cancer risk.
What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. They may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all.
If you have any of the following symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away
- Difficulty starting urination.
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
- Urinating often, especially at night.
- Trouble emptying the bladder completely.
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesnt go away.
- Painful ejaculation.
Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
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What Is The Chance Of A Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer
Around 17,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year in Australia. It affects mostly men in older age groups and is rare in men under 50 years of age.
The chance of developing prostate cancer is significantly higher in men who have a close relative with prostate cancer the risks are higher if the relative was diagnosed before the age of 60.
If you have a family history of prostate cancer, talk to your doctor.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer
Put simply, prostate cancer is caused by changes in a person’s genetic code or DNA. There are two important types of genes that may play a role in the development of prostate cancer:
- Genes that help cells grow, divide, and stay alive are called oncogenes.
- Genes that keep cell growth under control, repair mistakes in our DNA, or trigger cellular death at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes.
If either gene type changes , then it can result in cells growing out of control e.g., cancer.
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Five Early Signs Of Enlarged Prostate
As they age, men run the very common risk of having an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or BPH. While most men will experience some sort of prostate issue during his life, the good news is that an enlarged prostate does not always indicate a more serious condition such as cancer. However, an enlarged prostate does bring with it its own set of inconveniences and problems. If you are experiencing any of the following signs, changes are you may have an enlarged prostate and should seek treatment as soon as you can before matters become worse.
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.
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