Nearly 1.1 million prostate cancer cases were recorded latest as of 2012 globally. Scientists believe that the number may increase in the coming years. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system which produces the semen that carries sperm.
Postate cancer symptoms are not apparent in the early stages and if present, may vary from person to person. Usually, men with early prostate cancer may not experience any symptoms as it has a slow progression. Symptoms are seen when the tumor grows bigger or spreads to surrounding organs. However, some men experience urinary and sexual changes indicating the presence of prostate cancer.
Symptoms related to urinary system
Tumors of the prostate gland can affect the bladder and urethra as they are present close to the prostate gland. This leads to the development of urinary symptoms such as:
- Burning sensation or pain during micturition
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Presence of blood in urine (hematuria)
- Dribbling or reduction in the flow of urine stream
- Urge to urinate more than usual
Many of these listed symptoms can be considered as benign or non-cancerous. It could be prostatitis, an inflamed prostate gland which is infected.
Symptoms related to reproductive system
When it comes to the male reproductive system, the prostate gland plays a significant role. So, a diseased prostate may affect the sexual life of the person. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Difficulty in achieving or maintaining erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the semen
These symptoms do not specifically suggest cancer as they can be seen in men due to age-related hormonal changes. However, diagnostic tests help you to determine the cause of the symptoms.
Symptoms in advanced stages
Prostate cancer may also spread to the nearby tissues or bones through a process called metastasis in the later stages. Suppression of other organs by the tumor, depending on its size and location, can lead symptoms such as:
- Swelling of lower limbs
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Weight loss
- Numbness or loss of sensation in legs or feet
- Loss of bowel control
- Bone pain
As prostate cancer is mostly identified in advanced stages, you should be alert and consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of these above-mentioned symptoms. Your doctor may perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) where your doctor detects hard lumps if any are present around the rectum through digital techniques An early diagnosis of the prostate cancer can help initiate timely treatment, and improve the chances of cure and survival.