Symptoms of Prostate Cancer You Shouldn't Ignore

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men. It affects 1 in 6 men in the United States and is the leading cause of death among American men, after lung cancer.

However, don’t let these statistics scare you. When detected early, the cure rate is very high. Most men who are diagnosed and treated before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body have a survival rate of 96 percent or higher.

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut and is located between the bladder and urethra. It is responsible for producing fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is typically a slow-developing progressive disease. 

Men over 65 years old, those with a family history of the disease, or who are African-American have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.  

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer 

Many men may be tempted to ignore the symptoms of prostate cancer. It is important to remember that survival rates are the best when prostate cancer is identified and treated early. A checkup can put your mind at ease. 

Here are the symptoms of prostate cancer that you should not ignore:

  1. Inability to Control Urination: Difficulty starting or stopping urination, or an inability to urinate are common symptoms of prostate issues such as cancer or an enlarged prostate. Seek immediate medical attention. 
  2. Frequent Urination: Frequent urges to urinate, sometimes leading to urinary incontinence. These urges can occur at any time but may be especially prevalent at night. Any change in your usual pattern or routine can be a symptom of prostate cancer.
  3. Painful Urination: Pain while urinating can be a symptom of many things. It should never hurt to urinate. 
  4. Blood in Urine: If you notice blood in your urine (“hematuria”), whether red, pink, or dark brown in color, seek medical attention.
  5. Low Back Pain: Low back pain is one of the most common types of back pain. People usually attribute it to injury or medical conditions such as arthritis. It is also a symptom of prostate cancer. Various studies have shown that older men who reported low back pain were five times more likely to have an incidence of prostate cancer versus the men who did not experience lower back pain.
  6. Thigh, Hip, or Pelvic Pain: Prostate issues can sometimes cause pain that radiates to other areas of the body, especially to the thighs, hips, or pelvis.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Urologists can detect prostate cancer early and provide treatment immediately, ultimately saving the lives of millions of men. 

If you are 50 or older, your doctor will likely recommend an annual blood test for prostate-specific antigens (PSA). However, if you have an increased risk of prostate cancer, regular PSA screenings may begin earlier.

PSA levels are usually elevated in men with prostate cancer. For this reason, PSA screenings remain an important diagnostic tool.

A digital rectal exam, used to feel for anything unusual in the area, is another common prostate cancer screening.

To learn more about prostate cancer screenings, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.

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