Friday 27 November, 2020

Men’s heath: What to know about prostate cancer

Men are always being reminded to get their prostates checked simply because they don’t experience any signs or symptoms during the early stages.

Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm.

However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Men may experience early symptoms if the cancer grows near the urethra and presses against it, changing the way they urinate. But because prostate cancer usually starts to grow in the outer part of the prostate, early prostate cancer doesn’t cause symptoms. That’s why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.

In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination
  • Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs

If prostate cancer breaks out of the prostate or spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause other symptoms, including:

  • Back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain
  • Problems getting or keeping an erection
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Note that urinary symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer. Prostatitis or enlargement of the prostate can cause similar symptoms and are very common. Also, difficulty in having an erection is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.

Men who are over the age of 50 or have a family history of prostate cancer are more prone to the disease.

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