As one of the most common cancers among men, cancer of the prostate is diagnosed in almost 200,000 American men each year. While thousands die of the disease each year, it is also one type of cancer that can be easily cured if detected in its early stages. If you have a family history of this type of cancer in your family or are experiencing some of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting screened as soon as possible.
Ongoing and Frequent Pain
For many men who are diagnosed with this type of cancer, one of the first signs is ongoing and frequent pain in the area of the prostate gland. In most cases, this would mean experiencing pain in and around your pelvic area and hips, lower back, and also your upper thighs. Though this pain may be related to something else, you should track when you get this type of pain and how long it lasts in a health journal and report it to your doctor.
In the male reproductive system, the prostate gland plays a very important role. Thus, when prostate cancer occurs, one of the signs it is present can be varying degrees of sexual dysfunction. For most men, this means difficulty maintaining or getting an erection, and can also mean pain during ejaculation. Generally, men whose prostate cancer is in its early stages experience few symptoms related to sexual dysfunction. With that being the fact, if you start recognizing those types of symptoms, you should talk to your doctor immediately as it may mean that you are further along in the process. Additionally, you may be experiencing symptoms without even connecting them to possible prostate cancer symptoms. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, it may be a good idea to track your sexual experiences to see if there are any patterns of dysfunction.
For many prostate cancer patients, various types of urinary problems are some of the earliest signs that something is wrong. The most common symptoms include having to urinate frequently or feeling as if you have to urinate frequently, a burning sensation while urinating, a weak urine flow, difficulty starting to urinate, or having blood present in your urine. However, since many of these problems are also associated with non-cancerous prostate disease, always talk to your doctor about getting the appropriate tests that can diagnose your problem. Additionally, recording everything in a health journal can help you start to notice patterns when it comes to your health. This can prevent you from not noticing the frequency of your symptoms as well as help you recognize if it is an actual problem or just a one-off problem.
Another common symptom of prostate cancer is swelling or fluid buildup in the legs or feet. Though this symptom can simply mean that you have extra water retention or something else is wrong, this is a symptom you should share with your doctor. Similar to the other symptoms, tracking this in a health journal can help you immensely when considering patterns. Additionally, you may be able to find patterns with what you eat and water retention, which can also be helpful improving your health.
Age and Family History
As mentioned at the beginning, you should always talk to your doctor about prostate cancer if you have a family history of the disease. This is especially important for men who are age 40 or older since many early signs of prostate cancer start to display themselves during this time. The older you get, the higher the likelihood that you get prostate cancer. In addition, the older you get, the higher the likelihood of dying of prostate cancer.
If you are losing weight without trying, it’s possible that you have a symptom of prostate cancer. There are many things that can cause you to lose weight but if you have any other symptoms such as blood in your urine or blood in the semen, then make sure that you talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, consider adding testing your weight to your daily or weekly regimen. That way you can track fluctuations in your weight.
If you are displaying any of the above-mentioned symptoms of prostate cancer, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. By being proactive about your health and leaving nothing to chance, you can get an exam and cancer screening to determine the cause of your problem. Should it be prostate cancer, you can get started right away on treatment and have a much higher chance of recovery.
Early detection can be a determining factor in whether or not you are able to survive prostate cancer. It can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in a man’s blood. Another way to find the cancer is through a digital rectal exam (DRE). Neither test provides 100% accurate results. This means it is possible to get a false positive or false-negative result. Neither of these results are ideal as they may have negative effects so it is important to communicate with your doctor throughout the process. When it comes to insurance coverage, most states require private health insurers to cover tests such as PSA and DRE for men over ages 50 and for high-risk men over 40 years of age.