Prostate cancer begins in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm, explains Mayo Clinic. Prostate cancer does not usually produce any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis. When this happens, it can impair vital functions in this area.
One telltale sign can show up when ejaculating, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).
As the PCF explains, a decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated may signal prostate cancer.
Painful ejaculations may also indicate the deadly disease, the health body adds.
Other signs include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs.
Many of these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, however.
“Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called prostate enlargement,” explains the NHS.
Benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pee.
According to the NHS, the risk of prostate cancer is no greater for men with an enlarged prostate than it is for men without an enlarged prostate.
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Nonetheless, if you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, you should visit a GP, says the health body.
There’s no single, definitive test for prostate cancer, but the GP will discuss the pros and cons of the various tests with you to try to avoid unnecessary anxiety, it adds.
Am I at risk?
It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
Your risk of developing it depends on many things, including age, ethnicity and lifestyle.
According to Cancer Research UK, prostate cancer is more common in older men – prostate cancer is most common in men aged 75 to 79 years.
Prostate cancer is more common in black-African men than white men and it’s least common in Asian men, says the charity.
Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Researchers have found a link between being obese or overweight and cancers being higher grade (faster growing).
Obese means being very overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30.
BMI is the most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight, according to the NHS.
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.
Underscoring the association, there is some evidence that being active might help to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer.
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