What are the five signs of prostate cancer?
Sign one: Urinary Symptoms
One of the earliest signs of prostate cancer can be urinary changes. You might notice more frequent urination, especially during the night. Changes with the flow of urine, such difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, weak flow, or experiencing a sense of urgency are other common indicators. Some people may also experience urinary incontinence, or feeling a sudden urge to urinate. These symptoms can also be caused by benign conditions, so consulting a healthcare professional is important for an accurate diagnosis.
Sign two: Blood in Urine or Semen
Discovering blood in your urine or semen can be a worrisome experience. While it can be attributed to various conditions, including infections, it's best to get checked out by a doctor. Prostate cancer can sometimes cause these symptoms, and a medical evaluation can help identify the underlying cause and determine the best next steps.
Sign three: Erectile Dysfunction
Occasional difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection are relatively common and often only last for a short amount of time. However, persistent or worsening erectile dysfunction could potentially be linked to prostate cancer. It's vital to remember that erectile dysfunction can stem from multiple factors, both physical and psychological. Consulting a healthcare professional can help pinpoint the root cause and guide you towards appropriate treatment options.
Sign four: Pelvic Pain or Discomfort
Experiencing bone pain or persistent pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, lower back, hips, or thighs can be a potential indication of prostate cancer. However, it's important to note that these symptoms can also result from other conditions. Your doctor can assess your medical history, conduct a thorough examination, and order diagnostic tests to provide a proper diagnosis.
Sign five: Unexplained Weight Loss and Fatigue
While weight loss and fatigue can be attributed to various factors, unexplained and unintentional weight loss accompanied by persistent fatigue should not be overlooked. In some cases, prostate cancer can cause these symptoms. If you've been experiencing these changes and they don't improve with lifestyle modifications, it's best to speak with a healthcare professional to explore potential causes.
What should you do if you're concerned about prostate cancer?
If you are concerned about any of these symptoms you should speak to a doctor or your Fertifa Patient Advisor to discuss your symptoms and medical history.
Just because you have one or some of these symptoms, it does not mean you have prostate cancer. Sometimes symptoms can be dues to an enlarged prostate that is not related to cancer.
When you speak to a doctor about these symptoms they may perform some testes to determine the cause. A Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) is a physical exam done by a medical professional which assess the prostate gland, and a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) may be done test measures PSA levels in your blood, which can indicate prostate-related issues.
If further investigation is needed, additional tests like a prostate biopsy (which involves taking a tissue sample from the prostate and testing it for cancerous cells) or imaging scans may be recommended. Following the diagnostic tests, your doctor will be able to make a prostate cancer diagnosis and discuss treatment options, if necessary.
There are a number of effective treatment options available for prostate cancer
Active Surveillance: Some types of prostate cancer grow very slowly. For early stage or localised and slow-growing prostate cancer, regular monitoring is used to track any changes in the cancer's behaviour. This avoids immediate treatment, while ensuring timely intervention if necessary.
Surgery: A radical prostatectomy involves surgically removing the prostate gland and nearby tissues (which can include the seminal vesicles and nearby lymph nodes) to treat localised cancer, aiming to remove the cancerous tissue entirely.
Radiation Therapy: Using high-energy rays, radiation therapy can target and destroy cancer cells through external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy (which involves placing tiny radioactive seeds directly into the prostate), either as a primary treatment or in combination with other approaches.
Hormone Therapy: This treatment aims to suppress the production of male hormones, like testosterone, to slow the growth of cancer cells. It is often used in conjunction with other treatments.
Chemotherapy: Recommended for advanced cancer or metastatic prostate cancer, chemotherapy targets and kills cancer cell all throughout the body. It can help manage symptoms, slow disease progression and improve overall quality of life.
There are multiple treatment options available for prostate cancer. Each treatment approach has its own considerations, benefits, and potential side effects. It's essential to have open and honest discussions with your healthcare team to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
If you're worried that you might have any of the symptoms of prostate cancer, speak to your doctor or Fertifa patient advisor as soon as possible 💜