Prostate Cancer: signs and symptoms

Prostate Cancer: signs and symptoms

Prostate cancer can often affect men without them being aware of it until the cancer has developed and needs to be treated intensively.

There are many tell tale symptoms of the illness yes, but 90% of patients are diagnosed during a routine check up. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the US amongst men over the age of 40years old.

There are many factors that affect the chances of getting any kind of cancer. Some things such as a bad diet or smoking can be changed. Others however, like family genetics cannot. While we can’t say that all men affected by the disease fit this bill, the strongest indicators for men with prostate cancer are those who are older than fifty years old and have a history of the cancer in their family.

It is advised for all men over the age of 40 to have a screening done annually. Early detection of the cancer in patients allows for an extended lifespan, as opposed to having it detected in a late stage of the disease. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing is a blood test that is used for early detection as rectal examinations are becoming less popular. This is because this type of physical exam is often only able to pick the cancer up at a late stage.

Symptoms of prostate cancer are often hard to determine in the early phase. Other men will see a difference in their sexual or urinary functions. If any of these following symptoms are something that you experience, it would be good idea to consult a doctor:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Not all of these symptoms are necessary related to cancer but it is always better to verify it with a doctor.

Treatments for prostate cancer vary according to personal preference and need to be carefully decided on. Options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and more. The treatment options also depend on life factors of the patient, which should always be taken into account. These could be the current age and life expectancy of the patient, the stage that the cancer is in and most importantly, how the patient feels about the different types of therapy.

***

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with South African law and our commitment to expertise, MediHub cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.