Prostate Cancer Awareness: Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF.org)
Unfortunately, there often aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer. A growing prostate tumor usually does not push against anything to cause pain, so the disease may be silent for many years. However, there are certain signs and symptoms you should bring to your doctor’s attention. In some cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms that include:
– A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, sometimes urgently
– Difficulty starting or holding back urination
– Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
– Painful or burning urination
– Difficulty in having an erection
– A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
– Painful ejaculation
– Blood in the urine or semen
– Pressure or pain in the rectum
– Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
Sudden onset of any of these symptoms merits a call to your doctor.
In the United States, men of African descent are more likely to develop prostate cancer than any other race or ethnicity, and are twice as likely to die from the disease.
The latest cancer research has revealed much new information about the interplay between genes, cancer, and cancer treatments. Many types of cancer are much more prevalent in people with certain genetic mutations, so if you learn that a blood relative is experiencing one of these cancers — even if they are the first or only relative diagnosed — you should start a conversation with your doctor about ramping up your own screening regimen or ordering a genetic test.
It’s normal to feel a need for privacy around your health, but the first person in a family to learn they carry a mutation can give the greatest possible gift to their children, their siblings, and their cousins when they share that knowledge.
Success in treating prostate cancer can depend on early detection. But the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can be subtle, and many prostate cancers are slow-moving. Many men have no reason to suspect anything is wrong, but learn they have cancer after a routine screening. This is why a thoughtfully-designed screening plan should keep you on a positive path to long-lasting prostate health.