Sunday, October 4, 2009

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

You Should Know that Prostate cancer can be fickle. Some patients live with prostate cancer their entire lives and never experience any problems. They never knew they had it, meaning they probably didn't experience any symptoms. Other patients may experience symptoms. Symptoms are usually not present in the early stages of prostate cancer.

If the patient does experience symptoms, typically these are the symptoms that are associated with prostate cancer:
· Having to urinate more often than normal
· Not being able to urinate at all
· Having a weaker urine stream than usual
· Difficulty trying to start the urine stream
· Getting up in the night to urinate
· Having the feeling that the bladder is not empty, even after urination
· Pain or burning sensation during urination
· Blood in the urine
· Blood in the semen
· Pain in the lower back, pelvic region, abdomen, and/or hip area

These symptoms can also be the result of other related factors, so don't jump to conclusions. Having an enlarged prostate can also result in some of these same symptoms, as well as urinary tract infections and prostatitis (an infection within the prostate).

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician to schedule an exam.

The physician will be able to perform one or two tests to determine whether this cancer is present. The tests are the digital rectal exam and the PSA blood test. Both tests will be performed with minimal pain and discomfort to the patient, and results can either come immediately (with a digital rectal exam) or within a few days (with a PSA blood test).

With the earliest stages of prostate cancer, the digital rectal exam will not detect anything because the tumor is too small to feel or to be apparent. This is why the PSA blood test is conducted. Since the approval of the PSA blood test, more and more patients are being diagnosed with prostate cancer in the earlier stages. Because of this, treatment is working, which in turn has caused the survival rate to climb and the death rate to decline.

Emergency Symptoms
Emergency symptoms include lower back pain, blood in the urine, or discontinued urination. All of these symptoms can lead to the death of the patient if they are caused by untreated prostate cancer. Contact a physician or visit the emergency room immediately if loss of urination occurs. Contact a physician immediately if you experience lower back pain or blood in the urine; they may need to perform tests immediately.

Lower back pain can be caused by back pressure that has built up on the kidneys because of a blockage; and a blockage can cause damage to the kidneys. Loss of urination, if not treated, can lead to death.
Even if you show no signs or symptoms of prostate cancer, please schedule an annual exam so that you can be checked once a year for the disease. Remember, sometime prostate cancer grows slowly and does not show any symptoms, so it can only be detected through an exam.

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