If you’re older than 60, pay close attention: while only one in 10,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 40, one in 14 will be diagnosed between the ages of 60 and 69. In fact, you could have it right now and not even know. But don’t worry, there are early signs and symptoms you can watch for that could mean you have prostate cancer.
But before I continue, I want you to be aware that by no means do these symptoms or conditions mean that you definitely have or will get prostate cancer. Many of these symptoms are consistent with another, non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. Nevertheless, if you do experience these symptoms, it is imperative that you take it seriously. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The biggest telltale sign of whether or not you could have prostate cancer is how you’re feeling in your prostate area. And depending on your age, ethnicity, and where you live, you might want to pay a little closer attention to the symptoms.
Three major determining factors in whether you’ll get prostate are your age, ethnicity, and where you live. As was mentioned earlier, men over 60 are a very high-risk group. Furthermore, African-American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at more than twice the rate of Caucasian men, while the rates for prostate cancer among Asian and Latino men are very low. It’s also interesting that Asian men residing in North America are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often than those who live in Asia, where prostate cancer is virtually non-existent. Also, men who live above 40-degrees latitude are more at risk than their more southern counterparts, which might indicate prostate cancer is somewhat related to sunlight exposure or vitamin D deficiency.
Because the prostate gland is in close proximity to the urethra and rectum, most of the signs that you have prostate cancer will have to do with urine flow, sexual function, and pain.
1. Difficulty urinating or defecating: One of the most common signs you might have prostate cancer is a difficulty urinating. If you feel that you have to go, but can’t get it out when you’re over the toilet, it could indicate prostate cancer. This is especially true if you feel immense pressure, but urine only comes out in a weak stream or not at all. If you’re having trouble defecating, that could indicate there is a problem, too.
2. Inconsistent urine flow: If your urine is not coming out in a steady stream, stopping and starting uncontrollably when you’re over the toilet, it can also indicate prostate cancer. Also, if you’re experiencing urine flow at a weaker rate than normal, it is cause for concern.
3. Incontinence: If you find yourself beginning to urinate unexpectedly, that can be a sign of prostate cancer, too. In this instance, incontinence is caused by pressure applied to the urethra by an enlarged prostate, which forces urine through and out the urethra.
4. Sexual problems: If you experience erectile dysfunction, painful ejaculations, or blood in your semen, you may have prostate cancer. Be sure to see a doctor immediately, especially if you’re experiencing either of the latter two. Even if it ends up not being prostate cancer, these can be signs of other serious health problems.
5. Back pain: If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, the cause of which is a mystery, it’s possible it could be related to cancer cells in the prostate. It’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible if you’re feeling unexplained pain in your lower back.
The best way to prevent prostate cancer is to eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and make sure you visit your doctor for a regular prostate exam. This is essential for early detection and the possible removal of cancerous cells. And if you experience any of the above five symptoms of prostate cancer, it’s always best to see a doctor right away.
Source for Today’s Article:
Kinman, T., “What Do You Want to Know About Prostate Cancer?” Healthline web site, May 10, 2013; http://www.healthline.com/health/prostate-cancer, last accessed September 11, 2014.