Could you tell if you had prostate cancer? It’s important to be aware of these warning signs so that you can get the help you need as soon as possible. Prostate cancer is very common, especially among older men, but it can often be treated successfully when it is caught early.
Why You Need to Know the Warning Signs
Being able to spot the signs of prostate cancer is important for all men. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It will affect 1 in 8 of us at some point in our lives. However, too many of us are unaware of the warning signs or reluctant to go to the doctor when we notice them. Around 40% of prostate cancer cases in England aren’t diagnosed until the later stages.
Knowing the warning signs could help to save your life. As long as you know what to look out for, you’ll be able to get help quickly. The faster you begin treatment, the better. Prostate cancer is much easier to treat when it is caught early and it is less likely to have spread. If you spot any of these symptoms then you should see your doctor, right away.
Even though these symptoms could be caused by prostate cancer, it’s important to remember that there are lots of other possible causes too. You might just have a urine infection or an enlarged prostate. It can still be important to get treatment as it can help you to feel better, but these conditions are much less serious. However, there is a chance that you could have prostate cancer if you notice any of these warning signs. If you do then it’s vital to get treated as soon as possible.
Who Is At Risk?
If you have a prostate then it is possible for you to develop prostate cancer. However, some of us are more likely to be affected than others. You should never ignore the warning signs, but you should be more aware of them if you’re at higher risk because:
- You are older, as prostate cancer is most common in the over 50s
- There is a history of prostate cancer in your family, especially if it affected your father or brothers
- You are overweight, as this can make it harder to spot the symptoms
- You have black ancestry, as prostate cancer is more common in black men, affecting 1 in 4
Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer
Unfortunately, prostate cancer doesn’t give us warning signs as early as some other cancers. Tumours in the prostate gland can grow for a while before they start to cause any symptoms. However, once the tumour reaches a certain size it will start to cause noticeable problems.
Many of the warning signs of prostate cancer happen because the enlarged prostate pressed against the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of your body, so the symptoms will affect the way you pee.
1. Needing to pee more often:
Most of us will urinate 6-8 times a day, although it can depend on how much we’re drinking. If you need to get up in the night to pee, you go more than 10 times a day or urinate more often than you used to, it could be a sign of prostate enlargement
or cancer. You might even find yourself rushing to the toilet because you suddenly feel the urge to urinate.
2. Finding it difficult to urinate:
When there is pressure against the urethra it can make it more difficult for urine to pass. You might find that it takes longer to urinate, it’s hard to start or maintain the flow, or that you have to strain to pass urine. Sometimes it can actually be uncomfortable or painful to pee.
3. Feeling like your bladder isn’t empty after you’ve urinated:
When your prostate is causing problems, you can feel as if you still need to pee even after you’ve just been. This is a common and sometimes very uncomfortable sign of prostate cancer. If you often find yourself returning to the toilet right away even though you can’t always go when you try, then it’s worth consulting your doctor.
4. Sexual problems:
The enlarged prostate can affect your sexual function too. You might find it more difficult to get an erection, that you’re producing less semen, or that it is painful to ejaculate. All of these symptoms can be caused by the same kind of pressure on the urethra that may be affecting you when you urinate.
5. Blood in your pee:
Blood in your urine is a serious warning sign. It could be caused by prostate cancer or another serious health problem, although it can sometimes be a sign of a urinary infection. You should never ignore this sign, so see your doctor right away even if you only see the blood once. You should also seek help if you notice any blood in your semen, as this could also be caused by prostate problems.
It isn’t possible to know for sure whether these are signs of prostate cancer or another issue such as benign prostate enlargement. The only way to find out is to see your doctor, which you should do as soon as possible. In most cases, you’ll find out that there is nothing seriously wrong and you may be able to get treatment to relieve your symptoms. If you do have prostate cancer then you’ll be able to start treatment right away.
Although these are the most common and noticeable warning signs for prostate cancer
, you might notice that you have other symptoms too. Prostate cancer can also cause back pain, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. You should always see a doctor if you’re in pain or just feeling generally under the weather. It’s always better to be over-cautious and get told that you’re worrying about nothing than to ignore something that could be a serious problem.
Did you know all of the signs of prostate cancer?