Do men know the symptoms of prostate cancer?

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Most women are quite familiar with the signs or symptoms of many health conditions such as breast cancer.  But many men are not as familiar with the possible telltale signs of prostate cancer.  This is unfortunate as 1 out of every 7 men will at some point in their lives be diagnosed with this disease.  The more men know and understand symptoms that could be indicating a problem with their prostate, the quicker they can catch the disease at an earlier, more treatable and survivable stage.

Men often think of prostate cancer as the “good” cancer to get.  They assume that because there is not a huge number of men who die from the disease it must not be as dangerous.  That sort of thinking is unwise as other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.  For this year of 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates in the United States about 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be found and about 26,730 men will die from the disease.

Considering how many men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, every man should discuss with his doctor about the risk factors and signs of this serious and sometimes fatal condition. Prostate cancer symptoms can be confusing and difficult to separate from other common noncancerous disorders affecting the prostate such as benign prostatic hyperplasia.  But, unless a man knows the symptoms that could be indicative of prostate cancer and goes to his doctor to get it checked out, he may miss the opportunity to find the cancer early before it has developed into a later stage cancer.

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer

Here are symptoms that might be indicating prostate cancer men should familiarize themselves with.  Again, just because a man may have one or more of the symptoms, does not automatically mean he has prostate cancer.  Only after seeing his doctor to have tests conducted, will he know for sure:

·      Trouble starting to urinate

·      Weak or interrupted flow of urine

·      Urinating more often, particularly during the night

·      Trouble emptying the bladder

·      Pain or burning during urination

·      Bloody urine or semen

·      Painful ejaculation

·      Chronic pain in the back, hips, or pelvis

Men should also be aware of risk factors that can increase a man’s likelihood of developing prostate cancer which include the following:

·      Prostate cancer increases with age.  It is rare to be found in men younger than 40 but once past age 50, the risk increase.  Almost 6 out of 10 men with prostate cancer are older than age 65.

·      Black men are more likely than men of other races and ethnicities to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, to be diagnose at a younger age, to be diagnosed at a more advanced stageand to die from the disease

·      Family history is a strong risk factor.  Men whose father or brother had prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to also be diagnosed with the disease.  That risk increases if several family members are affected and if these men were diagnosed at a younger age.

The more proactive men are when it comes to their health and well-being, the greater chance they can live a long, healthy life and avoid medical conditions such as prostate cancer.  By knowing and understanding the sign, symptoms and risk factors of the disease, the more empowered they will be.