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Friday, Sep 22nd

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Prostate Cancer Symptoms

In the earlier stages, when the tumor is small and chances for survival are best, there are often no signs or symptoms. Since prostate cancers tend to grow very slowly, it may take years for signs and symptoms to develop, and by the time they do, the disease may have spread to other parts of the body. That’s why it’s so important to check early and frequently.

Because the prostate gland is situated at the outlet of the bladder and in front of the bowel, any tumor whether benign or malignant can affect their function.
  • Slowing of urinary stream or urinating more frequently than usual, often at night are the most common symptoms. Also inability to urinate, trouble starting or holding back urination.
  • Blood in the urine is rare but can lead to misdiagnosis as it is more usual in bladder cancer.
  • Unexplained urinary infection or pain in the groins or between the scrotum and the rectum.
  • Obstruction of the outflow of the testis leads to loss of sperm production or loss of erection or very rarely blood in the sperm.
  • Constipation or altered bowel habit.
  • Pain or stiffness in the bones or muscles in spine, hips or upper thighs. This is common as one gets older, mostly due to benign wear and tear conditions and not prostate cancer. However if pain persists or gets worse it should not be ignored.
Stages of Prostate Cancer
Once cancer of the prostate has been diagnosed, more tests will be done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. To plan treatment, a doctor needs to know the stage of the disease. The following stages are used for cancer of the prostate:

Stage I
Prostate cancer at this stage cannot be felt and causes no symptoms. The cancer is only in the prostate and usually is found accidentally when surgery is done for other reasons. Cancer cells may be found in only one area of the prostate or they may be found in many areas of the prostate.

Stage II
The tumor may be found by a needle biopsy that is done because a blood test, called a Prostate–Specific Antigen showed an elevated PSA level or it may be felt in the prostate during a rectal examination, even though the cancer cells are found only in the prostate gland.

Stage III
Cancer cells have spread outside the covering of the prostate to tissues around the prostate. The glands that produce semen may have cancer in them.

Stage IV
Cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes or to organs and tissues far away from the prostate such as the bone, liver, or lungs.

Recurrent
Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back after it has been treated. It may come back in the prostate or in another part of the body.

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