The prostate is a little walnut-shaped gland in the pelvis of men. It is located next to the bladder and can be tested by getting a digital rectal exam. Prostate Cancer is the second-highest cause of death in men in the U.S. There are no forewarning signs of early prostate cancer. You will not feel the growing tumor pushing against anything, so there will be no pain. You have had the disease for many years and do not know it. That is why regular prostate cancer screenings are so important.
In the early stages:
In the early stages, prostate cancer frequently has no symptoms. When symptoms appear, they can be like those of an enlarged prostate. Prostate cancer can also cause symptoms unrelated to an enlarged prostate. Once a tumor has inflamed your prostate gland or cancer has spread to your prostate, you may have symptoms including:
- Excess urination, especially at night
- Leaking urine when you laugh or cough
- Pain or burning when you go for urine
- Pain or inflammation when you ejaculate
- Pressure or discomfort in your rectum
These are not cancer symptoms themselves. They occur by the growth of cancer blocking your prostate.
In Advanced stages:
- Dull, in-depth pain or stiffness in your pelvis, lower back, ribs, or upper thighs, ache in the bones of those areas
- weight loss and appetite
- Tiredness, sickness, or vomiting
- Swelling of lower limbs
- Weakness or immobility in your lower limbs, usually with constipation
- Bowel issues
Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of prostate cancer. When the changes develop in the DNA of cells, then prostate cancer begins. The DNA of the cells contains instructions that tell the cell what to do. This change informs the cells to grow and split more rapidly than normal cells. The irregular cells continue their living when other cells die. Nearly 50% of males over the age of 50 years can get this. At first, the changes in the body are slow, and the cells are not cancerous. They can become cancerous with time. Cancer cells may be more or less graded. High-grade cells are more likely to grow and spread, while low-grade cells are less likely to grow and cause no concern.
Tests to identify prostate cancer:
Many tests are there to find or diagnose cancer. They also do tests to understand if cancer has spread to another part of the body from where it started and to find if there is any mandatory prostate surgery. If this occurs, it is called metastasis. For example, imaging tests can reveal if cancer has spread. Imaging tests show pictures of the interior of the body. Doctors may also do tests to know which treatments could operate best.
“Screening” means testing for a disease even having no symptoms. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) are the two tests used to screen for prostate cancer. Both tests detect cancer early. These tests are not perfect. Abnormal results on any test may be due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or infection rather than cancer.
Consult your healthcare provider about whether to be screened or not. To find out if prostate cancer screening by using Prostate Cancer Screening Assessment Tool is a good idea. Share your results with your healthcare provider when you talk about the advantages and threats of screening.
PSA Blood Test:
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is one of the ways to screen for prostate cancer. This blood test calculates the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein created only for prostate and prostate cancers. This test is done in a lab, hospital, or healthcare provider’s office.
The blood of a person with a healthy prostate has very low PSA. A low PSA is an indication of prostate health. A quick rise in PSA is an alert that something is wrong. Prostate cancer is the most significant cause of a high PSA results. Another reason for high-level PSA can be a benign (non-cancer) extension of the prostate. Prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, can also cause increased PSA results. A rise in PSA level does not describe the type of cancer present. The increased levels of PSA tell us that maybe cancer is present.
The digital rectal examination (DRE) helps your doctor locate prostate problems. In the DRE test, using a lubricated gloved finger doctor finds abnormal shape or thickness in the prostate by feeling the area. DRE is safe and easy to do. In this DRE test, the result may not be clear, and not every physician is skilled in the procedure. Therefore, DRE does not usually notice earlier prostate cancer.
If you are concerned about any differences you experience, talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long you have been experiencing the symptom(s) and other questions. Be sure to speak with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any recent symptoms or a modification in symptoms.