Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer for Australian men, affecting one in six men by the age of 85. When it comes to surviving prostate cancer, one of the most important factors is catching the condition early. Treating cancer when a tumour is small and has yet to spread will help you live longer with fewer side effects. The sooner men get checked, the better their chances of surviving prostate cancer for years to come. But how can you know if you have prostate cancer? While getting checked by a doctor regularly is important, these four warning signs are an indication that you need to book a checkup soon.
1. Urinary symptoms
One of the most common early signs of prostate cancer is changes in urination. Look out for increased peeing, urine leakage, pain when peeing, and other uncomfortable urinary symptoms. On top of this, make sure to inspect the urine itself when you pee. Blood in your urine, cloudy urine, and a weak, interrupted, or dribbled stream can all be signs that something is wrong. Even if your urinary symptoms aren't having any impact on your life, it's important to see a doctor just in case.
2. Erectile symptoms
Another set of symptoms to be wary of are those related to your erectile and ejaculatory system. Many men can experience difficulty in achieving as well as maintaining an erection as a symptom of prostate cancer. Painful ejaculation and traces of blood in the semen are other warning signs you should keep an eye out for. Remember not to feel embarrassed about talking to a doctor about these problems; a qualified and reputable men's health professional will always help you, not judge you.
3. Lower back issues
The fact that prostate cancer is a disease related to the reproductive system also means that it can affect your lower back, particularly if the tumour has spread. When prostate cancer does spread, it tends to reach the spine, hips, ribs, and pelvic area. Any sharp or dull pain in your lower back that can't be explained by your lifestyle should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, as it can indicate that prostate cancer is developing into more advanced stages.
4. Rectal problems
Last but not least, rectal problems are another warning sign that you could have developed prostate cancer. Since your prostate is located just in front of your rectum, it can cause various problems in the bowel area. Pressure and pain in your anus, for example, can be a sign of a tumour pressing against your rectum. This can also cause constipation and anal bleeding.
To learn more, contact a men's health professional.