Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Symptoms and Signs

In the absence of early symptoms of the malignancy ? mutation and rapid uncontrollable multiplication of the cells of the prostate ? prostate cancer may eventually present some symptoms similar to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). These include frequent urination, increased urination at night, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, blood in the urine, and painful urination. There are some patients who complain also of urinary dysfunction, which is not too farfetched because of the location of the gland.

The prostate gland surrounds the prostatic urethra such that changes within the gland are more than likely to directly affect urinary function. As a matter of fact, prostate cancer may also cause some problems with sexual function and sexual performance because of the seminal fluid deposited into the prostatic urethra by the vas deferens. These problems usually include difficulty achieving erection or painful ejaculation. Because early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms, it is often best to have it diagnosed during the workup for elevated prostate specific antigens noticed during a routine checkup.

Advanced prostate cancer tends to spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body, sometime even to distant locations. This spread or metastasis of the tumor naturally causes its own set of additional symptoms, the most common of which is bone pain. This bone pain caused by metastatic prostate cancer cells is usually most often situated in the pelvic bone, in the bones of the spinal column, or in the ribs. It is common also to feel this kind of bone pain in the proximal part of the femur, and also of other more distant bones.

This is never a good sign because it generally indicates aggressive disease that may not be responsive to hormone treatments, while being also highly resistant to other therapies. In that wise, interventions are often combined to ensure the best results in treatment, which would be removal of the cancer, and assurance of the disease not relapsing.

How helpful are the symptoms of prostate cancer in self diagnosis?

Unfortunately, waiting for the symptoms to appear is not a very healthy idea. As stated earlier, early stage prostate cancer has no symptoms, yet this is the best time to cure the disease with something like 10 year biochemical disease free rate. If you miss the treatment at this time, allowing the disease to progress to the later stages when it starts to present more symptoms, you are bound to be rather unlucky in therapies.

Late stage prostate cancer in the spine can start to compress the spinal cord, you know, causing leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence, and then you would really wish you had caught it early. Do yourself a favor; knowing your risk increases with age, start to see a doctor yearly from when you turn fifty so that they can catch the disease before the symptoms appear.

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