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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

07 Sep 2018 by Ted Escobedo

Prostate cancer affects more than 3 million men every year, worldwide. 1 in 9 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. Early detection and a regular screening plan are key to overcoming the disease. The survival rates for prostate cancer are encouraging.

The 5-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is nearly 100%. Ninety-eight percent (98%) are alive after 10 years. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 30%.

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Detection


In most cases, prostate cancer symptoms are not apparent in the early stages of the disease. The symptoms of prostate cancer may be different for each man and any one of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions. As a result, routine screenings in the form of digital rectal exams (DRE) and prostate specific androgen (PSA) tests are important.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer, beginning at age 50. Men with one or more risk factors for prostate cancer should consult with their physician about whether to start routine screening earlier.

Urinary symptoms of prostate cancer

Because of the proximity of the prostate gland in relation to the bladder and urethra, prostate cancer may be accompanied by a variety of urinary symptoms. Depending on the size and location, a tumor may press on and constrict the urethra, inhibiting the flow of urine. Some prostate cancer signs related to urination include:

  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting and stopping while urinating
  • More frequent urges to urinate at night
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)

Other prostate cancer signs & symptoms

Prostate cancer may spread (metastasize) to nearby tissues or bones. If the cancer spreads to the spine, it may press on the spinal nerves. Other prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • Blood in semen
  • Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Swelling in legs or pelvic area
  • Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
  • Bone pain that doesn't go away, or leads to fractures

As with any symptoms that become a concern, it is important to talk to your physician and together you can determine the best plan of action.

Sources: Cancer.net, Prostate Cancer Foundation

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