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Early and Advanced Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is characterized by a malignant tumor in the prostate, which is a gland located at the neck of the bladder and just in front of the rectum. It is generally about three centimeters long and surrounds the urethra.

Early Symptoms

Prostate cancer is marked by no apparent symptoms at the onset of the disease. Given that the incidence of prostate cancer becomes more common in men over forty, it is advisable for men to begin having discussions with their doctors upon reaching that age. Annual screenings, are recommended for men starting at fifty years old; these consist of a digital rectal screening examination and a blood test. Tests may be desirable as early as forty if there is a family history of prostate cancer, or for men of African American descent. African American men are 1.6 times as likely to contract prostate cancer than men of Caucasian descent. Other high risk groups include obese men and men with sexually transmitted diseases.

Advanced Symptoms

If prostate cancer goes undetected, a number of symptoms will become apparent as the disease advances. Most common are trouble urinating and a decrease in the force of urination stream. Also common in prostate cancer victims is burning sensation with urinating or ejaculating, and blood in the urine and/or semen. These symptoms are caused by swelling in the prostate, which squeezes the urethra and cuts the urine flow to the penis. Difficulty may be more pronounced at night. Often, prostate cancer is initially diagnosed as a urinary tract infection.

Other symptoms, related directly to prostate cancer and not to the restriction of the urethra, include a dull, incessant pain in the pelvic area, lower back, and upper thighs. Swelling may occur in the legs, and sufferers may experience sudden, unexplained weight loss, lack of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

Sufferers of these symptoms should discuss the details with their health care providers. There are potential reasons for certain symptoms to occur that may not be cancer-related. Enlarged prostate could be caused by other issues, but a cancer screening will be required to rule out or diagnose prostate cancer. It is important to note that early detection is key in conquering prostate cancer, so a man of any age who experiences any combination of these symptoms should see his physician right away. Unlike in years past, the recovery rate for prostate cancer is increasingly promising with early detection and aggressive treatment.


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