In the early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, patients start experiencing various symptoms. Regular screening helps in catching prostate cancer even before the symptoms become apparent.
It is important to learn the different signs and symptoms of prostate cancer and the possible causes of prostate cancer for its accurate detection and timely management.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among Indian men. Prostate cancer risk increases with age; men over the age of 50 have a higher risk of developing this condition. Along with this, those with poor lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and a positive family history of prostate cancer, also have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
In the early stages, prostate cancer is localized and can only be detected through screening tests. Many patients may not experience any symptoms at all. Patients start experiencing prostate cancer symptoms as the disease progresses to advanced stages.
The following are the most important prostate cancer symptoms one must keep an eye on:
When prostate cancer spreads beyond the organ, especially to the organs in the pelvic region, patients may start experiencing pain in the pelvic bone. Therefore, persistent pain in the pelvic region should not be ignored.
Frequent need to urinate, especially at night, is one of the common symptoms of prostate cancer. As the disease progresses, the prostate gland enlarges, and this causes the urethra to become narrow, which eventually leads to frequent urination in prostate cancer patients.
Prostate cancer can affect the prostate gland's structure, leading to bleeding. When blood vessels within or around the prostate are damaged or invaded by cancer cells, it can result in blood mixing with urine, causing hematuria.
Dysorgasmia, or painful ejaculation, is one of the important signs of prostate cancer. Changes in sexual function can occur when prostate cancer grows and puts pressure on the surrounding nerves and tissues that are involved in sexual function.
Prostate cancer can spread to nearby bones, particularly the pelvic bones, spine, and hips. This can weaken the bones and cause pain. Additionally, tumors within the prostate itself may press against nerves and cause discomfort in the lower back. Pain, as a prostate cancer symptom, may come and go and be persistent.
Unexplained weight loss is often associated with advanced stages of cancer, including prostate cancer that has metastasized. The body may divert energy and nutrients to fight the cancer, leading to weight loss and muscle wasting
Loss of appetite is one of the important symptoms of prostate cancer. Cancer and cancer treatments can affect a person's appetite and metabolism. Nausea, changes in taste perception, and the body's response to fighting cancer can lead to a lack of interest in food.
Metastatic prostate cancer, where cancer cells spread to the bones, can result in bone pain. Cancer cells in the bones can weaken them, making them more prone to fractures and causing pain, especially in areas like the spine, pelvis, or ribs.
Fatigue is one of the most important signs of prostate cancer. The body's response to cancer, along with the metabolic changes it induces, can lead to fatigue and weakness. Additionally, cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, can contribute to fatigue.
Understanding the possible causes of prostate cancer is essential for prevention. Potentially, prostate cancer is caused by the following factors:
Age is a significant risk factor, with the chances of developing prostate cancer increasing with age.
Chronic inflammation in the prostate gland may contribute to the development of cancer.
A family history of prostate cancer and certain genetic factors can become one of the possible causes of prostate cancer.
Smoking is linked to an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption may raise the risk, although the connection is still being studied.
Obesity is also identified as one of the possible causes of prostate cancer.
Certain ethnic groups, such as African-American men, have a higher risk.
Some research suggests having sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and not getting them treated in a timely manner may be one of the possible prostate cancer reasons.
We still do not know how prostate cancer occurs, and the factors discussed are identified as risk factors only. Having these risk factors does not guarantee a prostate cancer diagnosis; however, it can increase its risk.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, especially persistent urinary issues, pain, or unexplained weight loss, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional. An oncologist or urologist can evaluate your symptoms, perform necessary tests, and provide guidance on further steps.
Prostate cancer is a significant health concern, but with awareness, early detection, and understanding of the risk factors and symptoms, it can be managed effectively. Regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for prevention and early intervention.