SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND BENEFITS OF EARLY

Prostate cancer is a cancer usually develops slowly and symptoms often do not appear for years. If the cancer is caught at an early stage, there may be no obvious symptoms. Some people, however, will experience symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. This may include:
A need for frequent urination, especially at night
Difficulty starting urination
Weak or interrupted flow of urine
Pain or burning during urination
Difficulty in obtaining an erection
Pain during ejaculation
Blood in the urine or semen
Recurring pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, or upper thighs
Sometimes the first symptom will be lower back, hip or pelvic pain caused by cancer that has spread. It is important to realize that the symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland (non-cancerous) and malignant tumors (cancers) are similar and may include any of the following symptoms:
Difficulty starting urination
Frequent urination, especially at night
Pain during urination
Blood in the urine
Also, men over 50 years often have an enlarged prostate gland due to non-cancerous conditions of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or hypertrophy. Therefore if you see one of the above symptoms it is important that you see your doctor and have them investigated. But note that the majority of prostate enlargement is not due to cancer and regularly can be dealt with quite effectively. DIAGNOSIS EARLY PROSTATE CANCER Prostate cancer can often be found at an early stage by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in blood. Prostate cancer can also be detected early by your doctor perform a digital rectal examination (DRE). Because the prostate gland is located close to the rectum, the doctor can physically detect if there are any signs of cancer in your prostate. Unfortunately, the PSA test and DRE are not completely accurate and convincing. This can cause anxiety and confusion, or even a false sense of security. So the important things to consider are age, general health and your lifestyle. If you are young and develop prostate cancer, if not caught early enough, can shorten your life. But if you are older or in poor health, then prostate cancer may never become a serious problem because of its slow growth. The American Cancer Society recommends that men begin having prostate antigen (PSA) blood test specifically and digital rectal examination (DRE) every year from age 50. Those at high risk, such as African Americans and those with close relatives with prostate cancer at an early age is recommended to start testing at 45. The prognosis for patients with prostate cancer has increased dramatically in recent years. In the last twenty years the overall survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer has increased from 67% to 97%. So more men live significantly longer after diagnosis. The possibility of all this is because early detection programs, public awareness, especially symptoms of prostate cancer, and the adoption of healthy lifestyles.

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