10 Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer You Should Be Aware Of

prostate cancer symptoms

In this article, we’ll discuss some symptoms of prostate cancer and a few medications to combat it effectively.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the formation of cancer cells in the prostate gland. It may or may not be spreading fast to the lymph nodes or bones. This type of cancer is mainly seen in males over 50 years of age due to their race (African American), family history, or old age. In fact, this disease has a high mortality rate amongst males over the age of 55 to 60.

The cancer is detected through a biopsy. Further, medical screening is done to check if this cancer has spread to other major regions. This helps the doctor figure out its spreading pattern, if at all. If already grown vigorously, this cancer might be detected through a CT scan.

Although a major concern about prostate cancer screening is that it might aid the cancer spread. A thorough decision-making process with multiple opinions must be performed before going ahead with the screening process.

Like many other types of cancer, the patient is dealt with patience and active medical attention. Treatments for this type of cancer mainly include surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation exposure, and hormonal therapies. Though the outcome of all such treatments is never certain and the results can vary from person to person. 

The Specifics

The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that has the task of carrying the seminal fluid and urine when needed. This gland plays a major role in seminal fluid development and is made up of many smaller glands. All these produce about 20% of the male seminal fluid. 

The cancer formation begins when the normally functioning prostate gland cells mutate into cancer cells. Most prostate cancers are hence classified as ‘glandular cancers‘.

Over time, these cells begin to multiply and then form a tissue around the glands which gradually develops into a tumor. These tumors have the capability to infiltrate nearby glands and organs. Even worse, they could mix with the bloodstream or lymph nodes.

On a higher scale, ultrasound treatment and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are used to detect abnormalities in the urethra or prostate glands. The digital rectal examination allows a medical practitioner to identify any kind of abnormal functioning. Whereas cystoscopy shows the urinary tract from the inside using a small digital camera pushed inside the urethra.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

In most cases, the symptoms are not really evident and visible in the early stages. The symptoms of prostate cancer are moreover different for different people. Many symptoms of prostate cancer are generally associated with a range of issues with the urinary tract.

  • The size of the cancer cells and their location would constrict and block the urethra. This would, in turn, result in difficulty while passing urine and semen through the opening. Frequent pain indicates some kind of negative prostate condition.
  • The difficulty in passing urine through urethra would result in a burning feeling during the passage of the fluid. This could be identified by discomfort and urethral inflammation at times. The painful sensation would keep on increasing as the tumor grows bigger.
  • The patient has problems urinating in a continuous flow. The flow of urine is weak and also like drizzle. Even worse, the person begins to lose control over starting and stopping the flow of urine.
  • There is an irresistible urge to urinate at night, leading to several washroom visits. This disrupts the patient’s sleep cycle and can also lead to long-term sleeping disorders. Medicines are prescribed for regulating this issue of frequent night-time urination.
  • There is a loss of bladder control. You cannot control your urinary bladder and this gives birth to more urinary tract infections. The urge to urinate would be sudden and you would fail to hold it in.
  • Urine flow reduces drastically along with the length of one urination cycle. The thrusting feeling vanishes. Prostate cancer patients will also notice the velocity of urine flow fluctuating for the worse.
  • One can also begin to see traces of blood in the urine stream. This condition is known as Hematuria. Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) in the urine. This can be a result of the tumor growth and harming nearby organs. The passing of blood may not be painful until the patients begin to pass blood clots through urine.
  • Blood can also be seen in semen during ejaculation. This condition is known as hematospermia. In people above 40 years of age, the majority of cases of Hematospermia are a result of prostate cancer.
  • Failure to generate or sustain an erection, also known as Erectile Dysfunction (ED) begins to develop. Irrespective of whether sexually excited or not, the patient loses 90% of his ability to sustain an erection. Often when prostatectomy (prostate surgery) is performed, the surrounding nerves in the prostate region get damaged. This nerve damage is irreversible and leads to permanent ED.  Men would then have to rely on ED medication such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis to generate an erection.
  • Pain or discomfort can be experienced due to an enlarged prostate gland. With time the cancer cells will travel through the bloodstream and lymph nodes, spreading throughout the body. Simultaneously, the prostate continues to develop cancerous tissues while the tumor enlarges. This leads to pain during even the slightest of movements by the lower body. 

Suppose this cancer has spread outside the prostate gland. In such a case, the patient might experience:

  • Unexplained weight loss and weak bone structures.
  • Fatigue and excessive tiredness begin to kick in. Despite getting sufficient sleep and extra rest, the patient fails to get into activity mode.
  • There are changes in the bowel movement and bowel functionality of the patient.
  • There is also pain or stiffness in the lower back, pelvis, thigh, and hip regions. This happens due to cancer cells spreading to the bone structures.
  • There is a chance that patients will also suffer from jaundice.

Medications

These medicines can help reduce the intensity of prostate cancer symptoms. Keep in mind, they will not help cure or kill cancer completely, but they do help limit the spread to some extent. Of course, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy are options, but they come at a later stage.

Consider using these medicines if the symptoms are too painful and obstructing your day-to-day life.

  • Docetaxel
  • Cabazitaxel
  • Bicalutamide
  • Degarelix
  • Apalutamide

Conclusion

With treatment, 98% percent of those affected will survive and live longer than they would otherwise. Although keep in mind, prostate cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer and is the sixth cancer type with the most male deaths under its name.

People need to be aware of such symptoms and contact a medical practitioner immediately if and when they arise.