Prostate cancer: Dr Hilary outlines signs and symptoms
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When cancerous cells amass in the prostate – a part of the male reproductive system – there might be no warning signs. However, for some men, there are noticeable symptoms that require a person to “see your doctor straight away”. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share the signs to look out for.
Take, for examine, if there is “difficulty starting urination”, then this should be checked out by a medical professional.
Although it can be a sign of an enlarged prostate, which is non-cancerous, it’s better to get seen as soon as symptoms appear.
Another possible indication of prostate cancer is a “weak or interrupted flow of urine”.
Even increased frequency in urination could be an issue, especially if you find yourself waking up during the night to use the loo.
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And urination may feel painful, or there could be a burning sensation when you pee.
Prostate cancer could also lead to “trouble emptying the bladder completely”, or there being blood present in urine.
Painful ejaculation and/or blood in semen could also be a sign of a cancerous tumour in the prostate; as could persistent pain in the back, hips, or pelvis.
Eight possible signs of prostate cancer:
- 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 doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation.
The NHS cautions: “Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years.”
Most cases, however, develop in men over the age of 50, and it’s more likely to affect those who have had a close relative who had the disease.
While there is no single test to diagnose prostate cancer, there are ways a diagnosis can be made.
If you are suffering from symptoms, a doctor can arrange a blood test and scans to rule out cancer.
The national health service adds: “If you do have prostate cancer, you may not need treatment.”
Yet, in the earliest of stages, there is a possibility that the cancer can be cured via surgery and radiotherapy.
If, however, the cancer is only detected in the later stages, when the cancer has spread, then more intensive treatment might be needed.
“All treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects,” the NHS adds.
Yet, if advanced prostate cancer is not treated, the disease can lead to complications of its own.
Examples include erection problems and urinary incontinence, as well as the risk that the cancer can spread elsewhere in the body, impacting longevity.
Should treatment go ahead, people being treated for cancer are entitled to apply for an exemption certificate meaning their medication will be prescribed for free.
“The certificate is valid for five years, and you can apply for it through a GP or cancer specialist,” the health body says.
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