Every year, more and more research is done showing that there may be associations between certain everyday lifestyle choices we make and the development of prostate cancer. African-American men and those with a strong family history of the disease are also at increased risk.
Some of the following signs and symptoms common to prostate cancer are also experienced with many noncancerous diseases, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
- Frequent urination (especially at night) or difficulty passing urine
- Inability to hold back urine
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Feeling like your bladder is still full even when you have just passed urine
- Blood in your urine or in your semen
- Pain or a burning sensation when you are urinating
- Pain when you ejaculate
- Pain in your back, hip or pelvic area, which could be a sign that cancer has spread from the prostate to nearby lymph nodes, tissue or bones
It was If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you follow up with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In general, the earlier that you seek treatment, the better your prognosis.
Prostrate exams are determined via a test called the PSA test. The PSA is a test used to measure a protein called prostate specific antigen in the blood. Men with prostate cancer often do have elevated PSA levels, however levels can fluctuate and increase based on a number of factors that are unrelated to cancer. The PSA test is also notorious for producing false positives and negatives.
Due to these variables, the PSA is not considered to be a diagnostic tool or even an effective screening test when used alone. It is coupled with a digital rectal exam for prostate cancer screening, but ultimately, it is a prostate biopsy that either confirms or rules out cancer.
I accompanied my father to a biopsy procedure. It was relatively quick and we were home in a few hours. He said he only experienced minor discomfort after the procedure. Please be sure to take care of yourself.