Early symptoms of prostate cancer

prostate cancer

The early symptoms of prostate cancer may ironically occur during the advanced stages of the disease. This is because prostate cancer usually doesn’t have any symptoms at first. Therefore, this condition is typically found by testing the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood, or with a digital rectal exam (DRE). When symptoms do appear they may include the following:

·         Trouble urinating (slow or weak stream, frequent urination in particular at night, pain or burning while urinating).

·         Blood in the urine or semen.

·         Discomfort when sitting down.

·         Discomfort in the pelvic area.

·         Pain the lower back, hips, or thighs.

·         Bone pain.

·         Erectile dysfunction.

At some point in their lives all men should talk with their doctors about screening for prostate cancer; at age 50 for men who are at average risk and are expected to live at least one more decade, and at age 45 for men at high risk. The risk factors for prostate cancer are:

·         Age

Prostate cancer seldom occurs before age 40, but the risk increases after age 50. About 60% of cases are found in men older than 65.

·         Race

African-Americans and Jamaican men of African descent are more likely to develop prostate cancer than any other ethnicities.

·         Nationality

North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands.

·         Family history

Three or more first-degree relatives with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer in three generations on the same side of the family.

Two or more close relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 55.

·         Genes

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome.

·         Diet

Red meat, high-fat dairy products, animal fat.

·         Weight

Obesity has been associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.

·         Smoking

Recent research has associated smoking with a possible small increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer.

·         Prostatitis

An inflammation of the prostate gland may be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

·         STIs

Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and other sexually transmitted infections may lead to prostate inflammation and increase the risk of prostate cancer.


As mentioned above, PSA and DRE are two tests used to screen for prostate cancer, but they are not the only ones. Other tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis, determine how aggressive the cancer is, or how far it has spread, such as:

·         Transrectal ultrasound.

·         Biopsy.

·         Bone scan.

·         Computed tomography scan.

·         Magnetic resonance imaging.

·         Positron emission tomography.

These tests can also help stage the tumor; that is, its location and size.

Prostate cancer stages


The tumor is confined to the prostate and is usually found during an unrelated procedure, seeing as it can’t be felt during the DRE or seen on imaging tests.


Either a tumor too small to be felt or seen or a slightly larger tumor that can be felt during a DRE. Has not spread beyond the prostate gland.


Tumor has spread to the outer layer of the prostate and into regional tissues, and may have spread to the seminal vesicles as well.


Tumor has spread to distant parts of the body, for example the bladder, rectum, bone, liver, lungs, or lymph nodes.


Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body is one of the complications of this condition. Others are incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Men whose sexual lives are disrupted by prostate cancer are encouraged to maintain physical contact nonetheless, such as touching, holding, hugging, and caressing their partners. Often however treatment may not be immediately necessary, with watchful waiting or active surveillance being favored instead. When treatment does become necessary, options include surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic treatments.

·         Surgery

-        Radical prostatectomy.

-        Robotic or laparoscopic prostatectomy.

-        Cryosurgery.

-        Transurethral resection of the prostate.

·         Radiation therapy

-        External-beam radiation therapy.

-        Intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

-        Proton therapy.

-        Brachytherapy.

·         Systemic treatments

-        Hormone therapy.

-        Chemotherapy.

Fortunately, certain lifestyle changes can be made to decrease the risk of experiencing late or early symptoms of prostate cancer. Those changes include:

·         Eating fruits and vegetables.

·         Exercising regularly.

·         Keeping a healthy weight.

Additionally, vitamin E and a mineral called selenium might decrease the risk of prostate cancer. 

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Male urinary incontinence: When the bladder rules the mind