Sneaky Signs You Might Have Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer — the second most common cancer next to skin cancer — is a form of cancer that occurs in the prostate, the walnut-shaped gland that secretes seminal fluid to keep sperm healthy and transportable. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 out of every 100 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and 2-3 of them will die from the disease. 

In the early stages, it might be hard to notice the signs but as time goes on, symptoms will vary from urination-related difficulties to sexual dysfunction. You will experience painful urination, an urgency to pee and often, frequent urination at night, difficulty in starting and maintaining a flow of urine, urinary and fecal incontinence, not being able to empty the bladder fully, difficulty attaining an erection, blood in your urine or sperm, and lower back, hip, or chest pain. 

In addition to these sneaky signs, sometimes, prostate cancer can also manifest in bone pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, unexplainable weight loss, spinal cord compression, and kidney failure, especially when the cancer has spread from the prostate and reached more advanced stages.

When to see a doctor about prostate cancer concerns

Contrary to what you may think, prostate cancer is treatable and in some cases won't even require treatment. When detected early and when contained within the prostate, your treatment programs have a higher chance of being successful. That being said, there are more aggressive forms of this cancer that can spread quickly. 

If you're over 50 years of age, if you're of Black or African ancestry, and if you have a family history of the disease, you are more at risk of developing prostate cancer. Smoking, being obese, sexually transmitted diseases, and your diet could play a role too. 

If you are experiencing any of the sneaky signs mentioned above and can't seem to think of any other reasons for why you're having them, it might be good to get yourself checked. In fact, getting prostate cancer screenings might not be a bad idea if you fall into the risk group, especially when you're at the middle age mark. Blood tests, including a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE), might be part of the screening process. A biopsy could follow as well. Sometimes, your doctor might simply avoid treatment and wait to observe any more symptoms and other times, the disease is treated via surgery and/or radiation therapy.