A diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely common. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about this disease with an online search, which could help you spot early symptoms and seek treatment.
Besides skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in American men. Since warning signs can be subtle and in some cases, don’t show up, most early prostate cancers are found through screening.
Early Signs and Symptoms
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates roughly one in nine men will experience a diagnosis of prostate cancer during his lifetime. Unfortunately, it is common for early prostate cancer to cause no symptoms, which is clinically referred to as being “asymptomatic.”
Some of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- Trouble urinating, such as pain (dysuria), dribbling, slow or weak urinary stream, or increased frequency of urination (especially at night)
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble achieving or maintaining an erection
- Low back pain
- Pain with ejaculation
You can learn more about these symptoms with an online search.
Advanced Signs and Symptoms
In men with more advanced prostate cancer, the following signs and symptoms may develop:
- Swelling of the legs and/or feet
- Pain in the hips, back, chest, ribs, or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
No one knows exactly what causes prostate cancer. However, the following have been established as risk factors that can increase your odds of developing prostate cancer:
- Age: Your risk for prostate cancer increases after the age of 50 with 60 percent of cases in men older than 65. On the other hand, it is rare in men younger than 40.
- Race or Ethnicity: Your risk for prostate cancer increases if you are an African American male or a Caribbean male of African ancestry, followed by being an Asian-American or Hispanic/Latino male, and lastly being a Caucasian (non-Hispanic white) male.
- Family History: Having a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer increases your risk of developing this disease by approximately two- to three-fold.
- Geography: According to the ACS, prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean. Subsequently, the cancer is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.
It’s important to keep in mind that having a risk factor — or even several — does not mean that you will develop prostate cancer or any other disease.
Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not succumb to the disease. In fact, there are currently more than 3.1 million survivors of prostate cancer still alive today in the United States.
The prognosis for prostate cancer with treatment is excellent with an overall five-year relative survival rate of 98 percent. The survival rate is 100 percent for both localized and regional disease.
Living with Prostate Cancer
Some general recommendations for men living with prostate cancer include:
- At least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week
- A healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish
- Cut back on the intake of both red and processed meat and high-fat dairy products
- Maintenance of a healthy weight
- Seven to nine hours of rest per night
Mental health while living with prostate cancer deserves special mention, as depression is a common complication of prostate cancer. Therefore, it’s important to maintain close contact with family and friends, as they can provide much-needed support. Connecting with others who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer through support groups, whether in person or online, can also provide support.
Lastly, there has been a recent uptick in interest in supplements in the treatment of prostate cancer. However, keep in mind that vitamins, herbs, and other complementary nutritional supplements cannot prolong your life. Supplements may even shorten your life, which is why you should discuss them with your doctor before their initiation.
Start a Search To Learn More
Learning more about prostate cancer is a proactive step towards understanding a condition that affects millions of men worldwide. Early education can help you recognize symptoms, risk factors, and screening options, making it easier for timely diagnosis and treatment.
A wealth of information is available online through reputable medical websites, peer-reviewed studies, and healthcare professionals who can provide guidance on navigating this complex topic. Whether you’re concerned about your own health or that of a loved one, take the time to seek out credible resources and consult with your doctor. It can be empowering and should you or someone close to you develop symptoms, it may even improve the outcome.