When it comes to prostate cancer, early detection usually increases the success rate of treatment. What are the early warning signs of prostate cancer? And what sign points out to an advanced stage? Find out here.
Prostate Cancer in the Philippines
In one study entitled, “Prostate Cancer and the Filipino: Risk Assessment and the Screening Controversy,” results showed that although the incidence rate of prostate cancer in Asians is much lower than that of Caucasians, there is still a big problem.
According to the author of the study, Dr. Eliza Raymundo, even though Asian countries have a low incidence rate, it should still pose some alarm as the diagnosis usually happens in the late stages of prostate cancer. This late-stage diagnosis significantly lowers the chance of successful treatment.
Furthermore, according to the Department of Health (DOH), prostate cancer affects about 19.3% of every 100,000 Filipino men. The 2018 figures published by the Global Cancer Observatory for the Philippines also highlighted that prostate cancer is the fifth cancer type with the most number of new cases in our country. It also ranked seventh among cancer types with the most number of deaths.
With the numbers rising at an alarming rate, early detection should really be a priority. One way to detect prostate cancer early is to spot its earliest warning signs.
Early Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer
In its early stages, prostate cancer typically does not manifest any sign or symptom. This is the reason why you should be extra attentive to the changes you experience in your body. If you experience any of the signs below, do not take it lightly. Talk to your doctor and let them give you any advice on the next steps.
Problems in Urination
Prostate cancer may trigger some changes in the way men pass urine. For instance, you might experience frequent urination. Most people urinate 6 to 8 times daily. However, that may change if you are drinking plenty of fluids or taking any medication that encourages urination (diuretics).
Now, if you notice that you are urinating more than usual, be more observant with the possible reasons and the other changes that may come along with it. Some of the other problems you may notice are:
- A burning or painful sensation during urination
- Difficulty urinating; this means you are having some trouble starting or stopping urine
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
In some cases, men also experience loss of bladder control. Finally, note that while problems in urination are among the early warning signs of prostate cancer, they may also be indicative of another health condition, like urinary tract infections.
Sudden Onset of Erectile Dysfunction
Prostate cancer might also make it difficult for a man to get an erection (erectile dysfunction).
Men find the onset of erectile dysfunction quite confusing. This is because they didn’t have to worry about it before. Hence, suddenly experiencing it makes them feel that their problem is sexually related. To add more complication, some men who can get an erection might have some problems in maintaining it.
On top of erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer may also pose some ejaculatory problems. Either you experience pain during ejaculation, or have decreased semen volume.
An important note, though: decreased semen volume may also be caused by dietary problems. In fact, if you are dehydrated, you may have a decreased volume of seminal fluid. The frequency of ejaculation may also trigger this symptom.
While doctors state that other health conditions will more likely cause ejaculatory problems, you still need to be vigilant. Especially if you suffer from ejaculatory problems and the other signs and symptoms in this list.
Seeing blood is also one of the early warning signs of prostate cancer. But where could men see blood?
Prostate cancer may cause blood to appear in both urine (hematuria) and the seminal fluid. Again, while another condition may be causing it, remember that there should not be blood in your urine or semen. Hence, consulting your doctor is a must.
What About Back Pain?
Last on our list, but the most alarming of the prostate cancer symptoms is back pain.
There are many ways to describe the back pain associated with cancer of the prostate. For some, they say that it feels like their bone hurts. For others, they feel that the pain is like a consistent “stiffness” in their back.
Now, why do many experts consider back pain an alarming symptom of prostate cancer? This is because back pain often means that cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
If you suffer from back pain, especially one that comes with problems in urination and ejaculation, head straight to the doctor’s office for a consultation – more so if the pain extends to your hips, upper thighs, and shoulders. Also, seek medical help right away if your back pain is accompanied by swelling of the lower extremities.
Because the prostate is near the penis and urinary bladder, it is not surprising that most of the early warning signs of prostate cancer revolve around urinary and erectile symptoms.
Remember, if you spot these prostate cancer symptoms, especially back pain, consult your doctor right away. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better.
Learn more about Prostate Cancer here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.