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Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Self-Help Tips

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Prostate Cancer

Males commonly develop prostate cancer, but if caught early enough, it is usually curable. The prostate gland is found between the penis and the bladder, and this is the place from which the problem arises. The risk increases with age, but its origins remain a mystery to experts.

Prostate cancer symptoms

Despite the rarity of early warning signs, some men experience prostate cancer symptoms prior to diagnosis. Symptoms depend on prostate cancer’s location and stage. The presence of one or more of these symptoms, however, is not diagnostic of prostate cancer or an advanced stage of the disease. Prostate cancer typically manifests in three distinct ways:

1. Urinary Symptoms

  • The continual urge to urinate, especially during sleep
  • Urinary retention or difficulty starting to urinate
  • Weak or erratic urine flow
  • Urinary discomfort or burning
  • Blood in the urine, or hematuria.

Consult an oncologist doctor immediately if you detect any of the above-mentioned symptoms in you.

Causes of urinary problems

Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate gland, is a common cause of urinary symptoms in older men.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that can cause urinary obstruction in older men. Urinary retention is the most typical symptom. It is possible that your urinary symptoms will become bothersome enough to warrant medical attention.

Prostate changes are not the sole cause of urinary issues. Also, some men with enlarged prostates have no symptoms at all.

Treatment

If an infection or an enlarged prostate gland is to blame for your urinary issues, you may benefit from:

  • Long-term use of antibiotics (to treat bacterial prostatitis); the infection is stubborn, so treatment must continue for quite some time.
  • Use of prescription drugs for easing urinary retention and other symptoms connected to an enlarged prostate
  • Application of surgical procedures (for blockage due to an enlarged prostate)

Self-help tips

If your urination issues are minor and do not bother you too much, you can take some simple steps at home, like:

  • Limit your intake of coffee, soft drinks, and liquor
  • If you have to get up from bed several times for the bathroom, it’s better to use the bathroom before sleeping
  • Do not use processed foods. Also, avoid refined carbohydrates
  • Getting more exercise
  • Practicing pelvic floor and bladder retraining activities

All these tips may help alleviate some urinary symptoms.

2. Erectile and ejaculatory symptoms

  • Inability to get or keep an erection
  • Ejaculating hurts
  • Semen with blood in it
  • Less fluid in ejaculations (though hydration, diet, and how often you urinate are more likely to affect this than prostate cancer).

Causes of erectile and ejaculatory symptoms

Although prostate cancer itself is not a cause of ED, some of the treatments for this disease can lead to this side effect. In some cases, the problem of erectile dysfunction arises as a side effect of prostate cancer treatment.

Treatment

Treatments for prostate cancer can reduce testosterone production in the body. Patients find it difficult to maintain an erection when testosterone levels are low. It happens for several reasons.

A prostatectomy, for example, can cut off the blood supply to the nerves and blood vessels that trigger erections. ED can develop after trauma to these bodily structures, making it harder for them to function normally.

The process of removing the prostate through surgery can also affect sperm production. It is important to remember that the treatment of prostate cancer does not lead to erectile dysfunction.

Self-help tips

Here are some suggestions for managing daily life with prostate cancer, from calming cancer-related anxiety to increasing energy levels through exercise. You can easily manage issues like sleep disturbances, muscle stiffness and discomfort, nervousness, irritability, tension, headaches, and anxiety by changing your lifestyle. When coping with prostate cancer, here are some ways to lessen and control your stress:

  • Cancer treatment does not have to mean stopping exercise.
  • Eat right to confront the side effects of cancer treatments
  • It is helpful to use a pain scale when describing your level of discomfort. Note down the details of your pain levels and the effectiveness of your treatment with this handy chart.

3. Lower extremity symptoms

  • Constant aching or stiffness in the buttocks, hips, or thighs
  • Lower-body swelling

Causes of lower extremity symptoms

A prostate cancer patient’s legs may hurt for a few different reasons. Lymphedema is one possible cause of the pain. We call this network of vessels and nodes the lymphatic system. It aids the immune system and the filtration of bodily fluids.

Treatment

  • Cancer-specific treatments, such as hormone therapy, steroid treatment, chemotherapy, or internal radiotherapy using radium-223 (Xofigo), can help alleviate pain.
  • Drug therapy, radiation therapy, bisphosphonates, operative skeletal support, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and nerve blocks are all options for pain management.

Self-help tips

People can get lymphatic drainage massages to enhance lymphatic drainage and lessen leg pain brought on by prostate cancer.

Gentle exercise, compression bandages or stockings, and tight underwear or lycra cycling shorts are all good ways to reduce swelling in the penis or scrotum.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing any kind of symptoms of prostate cancer, it is a good idea to note down your symptoms in a diary. It will help your doctor evaluate your particular physical condition. Talk to your primary care physician if a symptom is making you anxious or causing problems in your personal life.

FAQs

1. What is the average rate of development for prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer typically develops slowly over the course of many years. In its earliest stages, prostate cancer rarely causes noticeable symptoms in most men. Prostate cancer symptoms generally appear as the disease advances.

2. Does prostate cancer run in families?

People with a history of prostate cancer in their family are more likely to develop the disease themselves. Your risk of developing prostate cancer doubles if a parent or sibling has already been diagnosed with the disease.

3. What is the international standard for treating prostate issues?

In most cases, a TURP is the best option for treating BPH. However, older adults 65 and up benefit most from medication and minimally invasive procedures.

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