Prostate Cancer: Watch Out For These Early Signs And Symptoms

December 31, 2020

Prostate cancers are one of the most common cancers men face. It is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among men worldwide. The crucial function of the prostate gland is to produce a fluid that together with the sperm cells and other fluids makes up the semen. The alkaline fluid secreted by the prostate nourishes the sperm and protects it. When there is malignant growth, it can spread to nearby organs and tissues. The prostate cancer cells can break away from a prostate tumour, travel to other parts of the body through blood vessels or lymph nodes and wherever these tumour cells land, they damage it. These cancer cells may attach to other tissues and grow to form new tumours.

Prostate cancer: Signs and symptoms you must know

In the majority of the early stages of prostate cancer, there are no apparent symptoms. Here are some early warning signs of prostate cancer which men should not take lightly:

  • Burning sensation or pain while passing urine
  • Trouble/discomfort while urinating
  • Increased urge to urinate especially during night
  • Sudden urge to urinate or sometimes start leaking before entering the toilet
  • Decreased flow of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood traces in the semen
  • Pain while ejaculating
  • Erectile dysfunction

Look for these symptoms if the prostate cancer cells breaks out of the prostate and spread to other parts of the body:

  • Pain in the pelvis or hip region
  • Unexplained loss of weight and appetite
  • Unable to get or keep an erection
  • Swelling of the lower limbs
  • Bowel problems
  • Fatigue and vomiting

Even if you do not have any of these above symptoms, it is better to get yourself screened for prostate cancer if you are over 50 years of age or if you have a close family member like your father or brother with a history of prostate cancer.

For those who have one or more signs of prostate cancer mentioned above, it is better to consult a physician immediately.

1. Diet and change in habits: You cannot totally prevent prostate cancer but by making a diet change you can reduce the risk. Include more of red coloured foods like tomatoes, watermelon etc and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. As smokers fall under the high-risk category, it is better to quit smoking and develop the habit of exercising regularly.

2. Screening: There are different screening options available for prostate cancer. Two tests are widely used to screen for prostate cancer: Digital rectal examination and Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

3. Treatment: Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage and grade of cancer. It can be cured when it is detected and treated early. Treatment need not always be surgery or chemotherapy. It should also be noted that when compared to other types, prostate cancer has one of the highest curability rates if it is detected early. Do not ignore the early signs at any cost as not only the treatment becomes challenging in the later stages, the survival rates go down when the cancer is detected at later stages.

(Dr. Prashanth Ganesh, Consultant- Urology, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal )

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