How to understand the symptoms of Prostate Cancer

There are over 200 types of cancer. In the UK, the most common types of cancer are prostate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and lung cancer. Each type of cancer has different symptoms, some of which may seem obvious, like a lump, while others can easily be overlooked. Some symptoms can be as subtle as changes in urinary habits, which are the main symptoms of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, affecting over 47,000 men in the UK each year.

The disease doesn’t usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra, meaning it can often go undiagnosed for years.

When symptoms do develop, they involve changes in urinary habits. There are seven main changes to watch out for, comprising:

Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
Needing to rush to the toilet
Difficulty in starting to pee
Straining or taking a long time while peeing
Weak flow
Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
Blood in the urine or blood in semen
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer and could be a sign of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement.

Prostate enlargement is the medical term to described an enlarged prostate. It is a common condition in men over the age of 50 and isn’t usually a serious threat to health.

If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing similar symptoms to those of prostate cancer.

However, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should get them checked out just in case.

“These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer,” said the NHS.

In cases of prostate cancer where the cancer has spread, other symptoms can also appear.

These can include bone and back pain, loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unexplained weight loss.

As with prostate enlargement, prostate cancer is more common in men over the age of 50, although it can still affect younger men.

The risk of developing prostate cancer is also higher in men of African-Caribbean and African descent.

You are also more likely to get prostate cancer if you have a father or brother who has had it before the age of 60.

Likewise, having a close female relative who has had breast cancer may also increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.

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