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Signs And Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a gland present only in men, located at the neck of the bladder, and just in front of the rectum.It is about three centimeters in length and surrounds the urethra. Urine and semen must travel through the urethra in order to be expelled through the penis.

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate, and multiply, forming enlargement and potentially a tumor. While early detection is key in successfully treating prostate cancer, there are very few early signs of the disease. For this reason, it is recommended that men over the age of fifty be screened regularly, even if they are symptom free.

Signs and Symptoms

The first signs of prostate cancer that will appear will be caused by squeezing of the urethra, which occurs when the prostate becomes enlarged. These signs include difficulty urinating and the frequent urge to urinate. With an enlarged prostate, the pressure of the urine flow will be greatly decreased, the flow may start and stop. Increased desire to urinate will possibly be more prevalent at night. There may be burning or pain with urination or ejaculation. A man in the early stages of prostate cancer may have trouble achieving and maintaining a erection. He also may notice traces of blood in his urine or his semen. Dribbling, leaking, and bladder control issues may arise as well. These signs are often diagnosed as a bladder infection.

Additional signs of prostate cancer, not directly related to the enlargement of the prostate, may include swelling in the thighs and bone and joint pain in the upper legs, pelvis, and lower back. This pain will be deeper than what appears with common sciatica, and will be a dull ache, comparable to that of arthritis. Chronic constipation, gas, and intestinal pain may occur, which could be caused by the enlargement of the prostate, or could be the cause. More advanced signs of prostate cancer may include a sudden, unexplained weight loss, a decreased appetite, and nausea and vomiting.

Men experiencing symptoms such as these, even if mild, should see their doctor right away to be screened for prostate cancer. Enlargement of the prostate may mean infection as opposed to cancer, and that is highly treatable. If it is prostate cancer, success of treatment is dependent on early detection, so men who notice the onset of symptoms similar to these should be screened as soon as possible. This will include a digital rectal examination and a blood test. This has become the second most common cancer among men in the United States, and odds have increased of a full recovery.


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