If you are concerned that you might have prostate cancer, we encourage you to have a PSA blood test as well as a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). Unfortunately, there are few symptoms indicating prostate cancer, and the majority of men diagnosed will not have experienced any symptoms. In addition, many of the symptoms related to prostate cancer might also be due to causes other than cancer (see list below).
It is completely normal to try to wish away potentially negative events or harmful conditions in our lives. And many men prefer to ignore potential medical issues they may face. However, when it comes to prostate cancer, it is very important to “man up” and get checked. As with all cancers, the sooner you find that you have prostate cancer, the sooner you can do something about it, the more choices in treatment you will have, and the better your chances will be of curing it. Think of your loved ones and the favor you will be doing them by learning the truth early.
If you ask around, you will likely find someone in your circle of friends or a contact who has faced the diagnosis himself. It helps to have someone who can share his experience with you. You might also consider joining a prostate cancer support group such as Us TOO International or PAACT. You should keep in mind, however, that individual cases vary a great deal in terms of the extent and aggressiveness of the cancer and the treatment options that may be appropriate for each patient.
THE WARNING SIGNS
OF PROSTATE CANCER
As mentioned, there are often no warning signs of prostate cancer. In some cases, the following symptoms may indicate the presence of the disease. However, it should be noted that these symptoms may also be due to benign conditions of the prostate or other conditions entirely unrelated to prostate cancer:
- Elevated or rising PSA
- Abnormal Digital Rectal Exam
- Blood in urine
- Pain or difficulty urinating
- Increased urge to urinate, especially at night
- Hesitant or intermittent urinary flow
- Pain or discomfort in the area of the prostate
- Unusual and unexplained weight loss
- Continual pain in lower back, hips or pelvis
- Increased voiding urgency
- Inability to urinate
- Trouble having or keeping an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet