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 Prostate Cancer Symptoms: What Men Need to Know; Experts Share Tips –

Early detection and appropriate treatment can significantly improve the prognosis and outcome of prostate cancer. (Image: Shutterstock)

If one experiences any concerning symptoms or has risk factors for prostate cancer, it is important to seek professional help immediately

Prostate cancer is an extremely concerning medical concern across the globe but even in this day and age, people shy away from discussing it. According to different studies and stats, it has been seen that back in 2020 around 1,414,259 men were detected with prostate cancer worldwide. Yet, there is almost very little awareness regarding this and the hush-hush situation continues.

Any awareness should actually start by recognising the symptoms associated with it. The symptoms of prostate cancer can often be a little confusing which is why it is imperative that more and more people take note of these symptoms.

Before one gets into understanding the symptoms related to prostate cancer, it is imperative to know about Prostate cancer in itself. Dr (Prof). Vijay Patil, Consultant, Medical Oncology, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Khar, says, “Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder in men. Prostate cancer often develops slowly and may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, as the cancer progresses, it can lead to various signs and symptoms.”

However, Dr. Tushar Aditya Narain, Senior Consultant – Uro-Oncology, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, shares an important point about the symptoms, he says, “It is important to note that the symptoms can also be indicative of non-cancerous conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or urinary tract infections. However, any persistent or worsening symptoms should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.”

So, what are the symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

  1. Urinary Symptoms:
    Dr. Tushar Aditya Narain, says, “One of the most common early symptoms of prostate cancer is lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Men may experience an increased frequency of urination, a weak urine stream, difficulty starting or stopping urination, or a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder. These symptoms can be subtle and often mistaken for benign prostate conditions.”
  2. Blood in Urine or Semen:
    “Hematuria (blood in urine) or hematospermia (blood in semen) can occur in some cases of prostate cancer. While these symptoms can be caused by various factors, they should never be ignored and should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional,” Dr. Narain added.
  3. Erectile Dysfunction:
    Prostate cancer can sometimes affect a man’s ability to achieve or maintain an erection. It is highly recommended to have a conversation with a healthcare provider regarding persistent erectile dysfunction.
  4. Bone Pain: 
    Dr. Narain spoke about how prostate cancer can metastasize (spread) to the bones, leading to bone pain, especially in the spine, hips, and ribs. This pain may be constant or come and go.
  5. Bone Pain:
    “Advanced prostate cancer may spread to the bones, leading to bone pain, particularly in the back, hips, and thighs,” says, Dr (Prof). Vijay Patil.
  6. Unexplained Weight Loss:
    Dr. Patil further added, “In advanced stages, prostate cancer can lead to unintended weight loss and a general feeling of weakness or fatigue.”
  7. Urinary retention: 
    Prostate cancer in advanced cases may cause painful urinary retention and may require catheterization due to urethral blockage.

Dr. Narain says, “Understanding the symptoms associated with prostate cancer is essential for men’s health. Early detection through regular screenings and prompt medical attention for concerning symptoms offers hope for a complete cure, and can significantly improve the prognosis and quality of life for individuals with advanced disease.”

Routine prostate cancer screening, including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE), can help detect the disease in its early stages, often before symptoms appear.

Dr. Patil mentions, “It is important to remember that many cases of prostate cancer are slow growing and may not cause symptoms for years. Routine screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) is essential for early detection. Discuss with your healthcare provider the appropriate screening schedule and whether it is right for you, especially if you have risk factors such as a family history of prostate cancer.”

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