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Early Signs of Prostate Cancer

Early Signs of Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer: Early Symptoms & Diagnosis

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, with one in eight men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. While the majority of cases are slow-growing and not aggressive, it is still important to be aware of the early signs of prostate cancer so you can get treatment if necessary.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for prostate cancer, including age, family history, and ethnicity. African American men are at higher risk for prostate cancer, as are men with a family history of the disease. Prostate cancer is also more common in older men, with the majority of cases diagnosed in men over the age of 65.

Lesser-Known Symptoms

One of the most common early signs of prostate cancer is difficulty urinating. This can include a weak or interrupted stream, a need to urinate more often, or a feeling of urgency when urinating. Other early signs may include:

  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Pain in the pelvis, hips, or thighs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for further testing.

How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?

Prostate cancer is most often diagnosed through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the level of PSA in your blood. A high PSA level can be an early sign of prostate cancer, but it can also be caused by other conditions such as an enlarged prostate.

A digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be performed, in which the doctor feels the prostate for any lumps or abnormalities. If prostate cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be done to confirm the diagnosis.

The Importance of Regular Screenings

Fortunately, prostate cancer is often slow-growing and can be treated successfully if caught early. Regular screenings, especially for men over the age of 50, are important so that prostate cancer can be detected early. If you have any risk factors for prostate cancer or are experiencing any of the early signs, be sure to see a doctor so you can get the treatment you need.