Prostate Cancer Symptoms To Watch For As You Age
Prostate cancer is one of the more common types of cancer that men have. During the early phase of the disease, you may not have any symptoms at all. Once the tumor is large enough, you may begin to experience a variety of symptoms. The symptoms that accompany prostate cancer are also signs of other medical conditions. For that reason, your doctor might recommend regular prostate screening exams. Also, let your doctor know when you develop any of the following symptoms.
Problems With Urination
When the cancer is large enough to press against your bladder or obstruct normal urinary flow, you may experience pain or burning when you urinate. You might have to urinate more frequently, and you may even lose control over starting and stopping your urine stream. You might also notice a weaker than usual urine stream and urine that stops before you empty your bladder completely. Talk to your doctor when you notice changes in your urinary habits or when you see blood in your urine. These symptoms could indicate the presence of prostate cancer, but they can also signal the presence of another condition such as a bladder infection that needs to be treated.
Symptoms Caused By Metastasizing Cancer
When prostate cancer is more advanced and spread to other parts of your body, you may experience symptoms elsewhere. You may have pain in your rectum and have changes in your bowel habits. If the cancer spreads to your bones, you may have pain in your legs, hips, or back. You might feel unwell and fatigued. Your legs may swell frequently. You might have nausea and weight loss.
When you have prostate cancer symptoms, your doctor may order a PSA blood test. The results of this test are often elevated when you have cancer, but other conditions can cause elevated test results too. When this test is done along with a physical exam, your doctor gets a better idea of the health of your prostate. An ultrasound and biopsy may be ordered next to confirm or rule out the presence of prostate cancer.
Since prostate cancer symptoms are seldom present in the early stages when the cancer is easiest to treat, your doctor may recommend regular PSA tests and physical exams so your results can be tracked over time. Changes in your test results could indicate growing cancer before the cancer is large enough to give you noticeable symptoms. Talk to your doctor to see if prostate cancer screening is right for you, and when you should be screened based on your medical history and age.