Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that exclusively affects men, with around 13 out of 100 men developing the disease in their lifetime. Of those, around three are likely to die from prostate cancer.
The older a man is, the more likely they are to contract cancer in the prostate. Therefore, being aware of the signs is highly important and, should you notice anything out of the ordinary – regardless of how harmless you believe it may be – you should immediately seek out an appointment with your doctor.
Here are some of the main signs of prostate cancer you should watch out for:
Burning Sensation When Urinating/Ejaculating
One of the key signs of prostate cancer is a burning sensation whilst urinating or during ejaculation. An inflamed or infected prostate can cause a painful burning sensation, either in the bladder or urethra, which can cause discomfort during urination or ejaculation. A burning sensation can also be a sign of an STI or UTI, so you must book yourself in for an appointment with your GP should you experience this.
As men grow older, the bladder naturally becomes weaker and, thus, there is likely to be the need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate. This is natural and not usually something to worry about, however, if you suddenly find that the number of times you are getting up in the night increases to urinate, then this is when you should seek consultation with a doctor
Finding it Difficult to Start/Stop Urinating
This can be caused by an inflamed or enlarged prostate pushing on the urethra which narrows the passageway. As an obstruction has been created, this makes it difficult to start and/or stop urinating (possibly resulting in a constant dribble, which can be a cause for embarrassment for those living with the symptom). If left without medical attention, the urethra can become completely blocked, leading to the inability to urinate – this requires urgent attention. This is one of the more common symptoms for older males with prostate cancer.
The prostate gland is surrounded by nerves which play a key role in the ability to gain and maintain an erection. When the prostate enlarges, this can have an impact on the surrounding nerve glands and may result in erectile dysfunction. Proton therapy for prostate cancer is a type of treatment that many patients opt for over surgery, due to the risk of damage to nerve glands which can potentially leave the patient impotent/unable to maintain an erection strong enough for penetration.
Blood in Semen and/or Urine
Blood in urine and/or semen is a key indicator of an infection or injury to the prostate gland, urinary system or reproductive system. Anyone who spots this should seek immediate medical attention and should not sit on it in the hope that it will just disappear, because then it could be too late. This does not mean that you definitely have cancer, but this is a symptom which will peak the interest of doctors, who will likely refer you to a specialist.