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Understanding the Signs of Prostate Cancer

An estimated 220,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States each year. Roughly 27,000 men die each year from this disease. With the understanding that about 1 in 7 men are diagnosed with this disease during the course of their lifetimes, it is critical for men to not only undergo routine screening after the age of 50 or so, it’s also important to understand the signs that may signal this disease’s development.

There are a number of signs that can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. They include:

  • Frequent need to urinate, most especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or stopping it
  • A urine stream that is weak or often interrupted
  • Urine leakage when coughing or laughing
  • An inability to urinate while standing up
  • Pain during urination or ejaculation
  • Blood in semen or urine

These are simply some of the warning signs of prostate cancer. Keep in mind they may very well be caused by an enlarged prostate or noncancerous tumor. It’s also possible that a urinary tract infection can give rise to these symptoms.

If prostate cancer has moved onto advance stages, these symptoms may signal its presence:

  • A deep, dull pain in the thighs, ribs, lower back or pelvis
  • Unexplained loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling in the lower extremities
  • A generalized weakness in the lower limbs or paralysis

The only way to know for sure if symptoms are indicative of prostate cancer or if they signal another condition is to go in and get checked out by a doctor. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it’s advisable to make an appointment right away. Even a urinary tract infection that causes common signs of prostate cancer can cause real problems if it’s left unchecked. Play it safe and let a doctor decide what is to blame for the appearance of symptoms.