Prostate cancer: Doctor outlines symptoms you might experience
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Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in their lifetime, making it the most common form of the disease among men in the UK. As with any disease, the sooner you notice the signs, the sooner you can seek medical help. One expert spoke with Express.co.uk about symptoms of prostate that are often ignored.
Doctor Jiri Kubes, medical director of Proton Therapy Centre Prague, warned not to ignore ongoing pain in three areas of the body as it could be a red flag there is something wrong.
He said: “Prostate cancer kills thousands of men in the UK each year, but it can be treated effectively if discovered early enough.
“While it can strike at any age, men over 50 are particularly at risk and should be aware of the warning signs to look out for.
“Many of us get aches and pains on occasion, and often they’re nothing serious.”
However, he urged men to get checked if they experience a “niggling” pain in the hip, pelvis or lower back.
“But one of the most commonly ignored symptoms of prostate cancer is a niggling pain in the hip, pelvis and lower back,” Dr Kubes added.
“It can be easy to ignore these aches or put them down to something else, such as sleeping in the wrong position or the result of the twisting and turning our bodies do everyday.
“It’s vital that men are in tune with their bodies and are on alert for any changes, no matter how little or unimportant they might seem at first.
“Thankfully, there are some incredibly effective treatments available today and the effects of prostate cancer can be treated better than ever before.”
What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
While causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown, certain factors can affect your chances such as a family history of the disease and lifestyle habits.
It often does not cause any symptoms until the tumour has grown enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.
This means that some symptoms, if there are any, are toilet related.
According to the NHS, these can include:
- Needing to urinate more frequently, often during the night
- Needing to rush to the toilet
- Difficulty in starting to urinate (hesitancy)
- Straining or taking a long time while urinating
- Weak flow
- Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
- Blood in urine or blood in semen.
However, these are not necessarily signs of prostate cancer.
“Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called benign prostate enlargement,” the NHS says.
If the cancer spreads – becomes metastatic – it can lead to bone and back pain, a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unintentional weight loss.
A common way to test for prostate cancer is a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which tests the level of PSA in your blood.
But these tests are not always accurate and having a raised PSA level does not always mean you will have prostate cancer.
If you display any symptoms of prostate cancer you should see your GP.
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