More Australians are suffering from prostate cancer these days more than ever. Nearly 15% of all Australians surveyed were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The incidence of this disease is more prevalent among people above 60 years. The following article takes a bird’s eye view of prostate cancer, its signs, symptoms and the various lines of treatment.
Signs of Prostate cancer
If you exhibit the following symptoms, chances are you may be suffering from this form of cancer.
- Trouble in urinating.
- Pain or burning during urination
- Finding it difficult to sit or bend while urinating
- Blood coming out in the urine
- During intercourse, you may find blood in your semen ( applicable to men)
- Frequent urge to urinate during the nights
- Little or no bladder control
- Decreased flow of urine
- Difficulty in ejaculation
- Erection is accompanied by pain
In all the cases above, you will see that prostate cancer is closely linked to urinary problems. The reason is that the prostate gland is located near the urethra; any enlargement or cancerous growth in this area stops or restricts the urine flow. Doctors diagnose prostate cancer with the help of a PSA test. This test measures the presence of Prostate-specific Antigen in the blood. A high level of PSA means you may have prostate cancer. Sometimes, high PSA may also mean inflammation of the prostate gland.
Earlier, men having a PSA reading of 4ng/ml and above were considered to be having prostate cancer. However, many medical researchers now say that men having lower PSA are also likely to have this form of cancer. Men above 50 should certainly consider going to a doctor and testing themselves for prostate cancer. Please note that the above signs are linked to early-stage prostate cancer. The next section is about more advanced symptoms of this disease.
Advanced symptoms of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer may also spread to other areas of the body. It has been seen in many cases that this cancer moves on to the spinal area and presses upon the spinal cord. Some advanced symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Swollen legs or pelvic area
- Numbness and pain in legs, feet or hips
- Bone pain that persists and later leads to fractures
Recurrent prostate symptoms
Sometimes this disease reappears after the initial treatment. This phenomenon is called the recurrence of prostate cancer. This cancer may reappear at the same place i.e. around the prostate gland or may come up in the lungs, liver, and spinal area. The most common symptom of recurrent prostate cancer is an increase in PSA levels in the blood. You can still judge if you have recurrent prostate cancer by observing these symptoms:
- Blood in urine
- Finding it difficult to urinate
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Difficulty in breathing
Please note that these symptoms are not unique to prostate cancer. To determine whether you have really this disease, you may want to consult a qualified oncologist.
There are 3 main lines of treatment for prostate cancer. To know more about these treatments, click here:
Usually, the treatment depends upon many factors like the stage of cancer, age of the patient and other medical conditions. All things considered, the patient can still choose which treatment he would prefer. Before taking a decision, the patient should consult the relevant doctors like the urologist and the radiation oncologist. A urologist treats and diagnoses diseases related to the urinary tract while the oncologist treats cancer.