If you’re a middle-aged or older male, chances are you take the prospect of developing prostate cancer quite seriously – and with good reason. Prostate cancer is a potentially deadly disease that affects an estimated 160,000 American men of your age group each year. All men should assume they will have prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate at some point in their lives, so getting checked at the right time is imperative.
Your prostate is a small gland situated in your lower abdomen beneath the bladder and surrounding the urethra. It’s regulated by testosterone and produces semen for the reproductive system. Prostate cancer occurs when a malignant tumor forms in your prostate. If left untreated on a for a lengthy time, the cancer can spread to other parts of your body.
Some forms of prostate are nonaggressive and, therefore, may go undetected. In fact, it’s possible to have prostate cancer for years without noticing any symptoms at all. Advanced prostate cancer, however, definitely has warning signs you cannot afford to ignore. These include:
· Urinary problems – Since the prostate is located beneath the bladder and around the urethra, it only stands to reason that urinary difficulties would be a common symptom. If a tumor grows on the prostate, it might press on the bladder and/or urethra. In turn, you would have a frequent need to urinate – especially during the night. Other urinary problems may include:
o Difficulty starting or restraining urination
o A weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
o Painful or burning urination
o Bleeding while urinating
· Sexual dysfunction – Being unable to achieve and sustain an erection can be a symptom of prostate cancer. That’s not to say all cases of impotence are related to a prostate problem, but it could be a red flag – especially if you find blood in your semen after ejaculation.
· Pain – When cancer metastasizes, it spreads to other areas of the body. In the case of prostate cancer, it frequently spreads to the bones, which can cause pain in the pelvic area, the back, or even the chest. You might feel pain or pressure in your rectum or pain and stiffness in the hips and thighs. Obviously, this pain should not be ignored.
· Numbness – If prostate cancer spreads to your spinal cord, you could lose feeling in your legs, as well as your bladder.
Of the symptoms listed above, urinary problems are the most likely to manifest themselves early on. Which is why it’s important to have your prostate examined regularly if you are over 40, regardless of whether you experience any symptoms.
Although most of these symptoms can also indicate other, non-cancerous conditions – such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis – neither of those conditions cause blood to show in your urine. So, if you experience this symptom, see your doctor as soon as possible. It may be caused by another condition – say, a kidney stone – but you’ll need an examination nonetheless to receive the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will discuss treatment options to get rid of any cancerous tissue in or around the prostate gland. There are several treatment options available, but CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery is proving to be a steadfast treatment. If you’ve been diagnosed with the disease or would like to learn more about prostate cancer, call CyberKnife Center of Miami at (800) 204-0455 to find out if CyberKnife treatment is suitable for your condition. You can also contact us online.