Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men – almost 13% of men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Treatment is often effective and the earlier it is found, the better treatment works.
But how do you know if you might have prostate cancer? Here are the top 7 signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
1. Increased urinary frequency
Increased urinary frequency means having the urge to pass urine more often than usual. This may include:
- Having to go to the bathroom more often
- Getting up through the night to urinate
2. Difficulty urinating
This is also known as urinary hesitancy and happens when urine is having difficulty leaving the bladder. Symptoms include:
- Trouble starting when trying to urinate
- A weak or interrupted urine flow
- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
- Having to strain to empty the bladder
3. Changes in bodily functions
More advanced prostate cancers may cause changes in bodily functions such as:
- A change in bowel habits
- Erectile dysfunction
Cancer that has spread to the spine may affect the spinal cord causing numbness and weakness and can lead to urinary incontinence.
Painful urination and painful ejaculation may be a symptom of prostate cancer.
For some men, symptoms only develop once prostate cancer spreads outside the prostate gland or metastasizes. It spreads most commonly to the hip, spine, and pelvic bones. Bone metastases are often very painful and cause pain in the back, hips, shoulders, and thighs.
A feeling of extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest is common in men with advanced prostate cancer.
6. Swelling in the Feet and Legs
Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes causing the lymphatic system to stop working properly. This can lead to a build-up of fluids and cause swelling in the legs and feet.
7. There may be no signs or symptoms at all
Prostate cancer often produces no clear signs or symptoms in its early stages of development. Prostate cancer typically grows very slowly and may take years to cause symptoms. Many men may have prostate cancer without even knowing.
Because there are frequently no symptoms of prostate cancer, it’s important to get screened regularly. It’s currently recommended to start screening between the age of 40-49. Annual exams should happen yearly for men ages 50-69.
Screening usually consists of both a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal examination.
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms?
If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms or are concerned about new changes you have noticed, let your doctor know. Your doctor can perform an examination and use tests that will help to determine the cause of your symptoms.
It’s important to note that these signs and symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer. The prostate tends to increase in size as a man gets older leading to an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It can have some similar symptoms but isn’t cancer.
Your urologist can help you determine the cause of your symptoms and get started with effective treatment.
Don’t delay getting the answers you need. Schedule an appointment with a urologist today by calling 843-347-2450!