Warning Signs Your Pale Skin Is Actually Prostate Cancer

People develop pale skin for a number of reasons. Some of the reasons could be genetic in nature. Others could be related to bleeding — examples include post-surgery bleeding or ulcers in your gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes, the lighter hue in your skin could be caused by fatigue or just the common cold/flu. 

Whatever the reason, you or someone close to you is bound to notice if your skin is looking lighter than it normally does. Sometimes, however, the symptoms that manifest on your skin could be related to cancer, like when bruises on your body are a sign of cancer. With pale skin, what it could be pointing toward is advanced prostate cancer. One of the sneaky signs that you might have prostate cancer is anemia and anemia can result in uncharacteristic pallor. There will be other warning signs too though. Anemia can bring about fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, bad moods, low blood pressure, and increased respiration. 

Going back to pale skin, how exactly are prostate cancer and pallor connected? 

Prostate cancer, anemia, and pallor: The connection

Prostate cancer typically has four stages, although the exact clinical definitions and descriptions have subbranches under each. Stages one and two have to do with progressive stages of the tumor within the prostate gland. Stages three and four mean that the tumor's growth and effects have spanned outside of the walnut-shaped gland. At stage four, also known as the advanced stage, the cancer has started to spread to other parts of your body, like your rectum and your bladder. This is the stage at which it can also reach your bones. It is also when anemia and resulting pale skin could occur.

Your bone marrow can become damaged in two ways because of advanced prostate cancer — one can be a result of the tumor itself affecting your bone marrow and the second is because of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or other cancer treatments. Your bone marrow makes red blood cells, also known as hemoglobin. These cells perform the vital function of transporting oxygen through your body. Not having enough red blood cells and your skin not getting enough oxygen can both contribute toward pallor. And it's not just your skin that becomes light-hued. Anemia can affect your nails, gums, and lips too. 

Anemia-related concerns aside, advanced prostate cancer comes with other warning signs too. Let's take a look at them now. 

Other warning signs of advanced prostate cancer

The health of your prostate can directly impact the health of your bladder and urinary tract system, which is why with something like prostate cancer, you will also experience urinary symptoms like painful urination, trouble with starting and emptying your bladder fully, a weak urine stream, frequent peeing, blood in your urine, and pain in your pelvic region, backs, and hips. Sometimes, you could have blood in your semen too.

If the tumor has spread to the bones, you might also experience bone pain. Bone loss and fractures could occur too. If the cancer has metastasized to reach your spine, you could have trouble walking. 

Typically, a person would have tried treatment options like prostate removal, radiation, or chemotherapy before reaching the advanced stage of prostate cancer. Even so, your doctor's focus could be on stopping the spread. More chemotherapy, hormone therapies, and immunotherapy could follow. As with any type of cancer, early detection can give you better results with treatment plans. Prostate cancer might not cause symptoms in some cases, which is why it's important to know your risk factors and get screened. The age at which you should you should start getting prostate cancer screenings would depend on your risk factors.