Recurrent Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer that returns after treatment is considered recurrent. When it returns to the area around the prostate, the disease is classified as a local recurrence. If the cancer is found in another part of the body, the recurrent cancer is considered metastatic. If the cancer metastasizes outside the prostate, it most likely develops in bones first. Metastatic prostate cancer most often spreads to the liver, bones and lungs.
After initial treatment for prostate cancer, PSA levels are expected to drop dramatically. The first sign of recurrent prostate cancer may be a rise in the PSA level. Other symptoms of recurrent cancer may depend on whether and where the cancer has spread. Symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty breathing
Patients should discuss any symptoms with their doctor and ask about scheduling regular PSA tests after treatment.
Why Does Prostate Cancer Happen
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. However, certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men and anyone with a prostate aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men and anyone with a prostate of African-Caribbean African descent. It’s less common in men and anyone with a prostate of Asian descent.
Men and anyone with a prostate who have first-degree male relatives affected by prostate cancer are also at a slightly increased risk.
Read more about the causes of prostate cancer
What Should You Do If You Have The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
If you are presenting one or more of the warning signs of prostate cancer, then it would be wise to promptly consult with a qualified physician. Your symptoms may indicate another, less serious condition and even if you do receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, it is much easier to treat this disease when detected early on.
To learn more, contact our team of medical professionals at Care New England today.
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What Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. It grows larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.
Sometimes a doctor may find a problem during a routine checkup or by doing a rectal exam. If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, see your doctor right away.
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Different Signs + Different Men = Difficult To Diagnose
Symptoms of prostate cancer can be different for each man, and any of the symptoms can be due to other less serious conditions. This makes diagnosing prostate cancer more difficult for doctors, so screenings are necessary.
This walnut sized gland is needed for sperm to travel to its destination, so its pretty important. It gets larger over time, but that doesnt necessarily mean a man has cancer.
If you have some of the warning signs, it doesnt necessarily mean you have cancer, while at the same time you can be diagnosed with prostate cancer without any of the signs. This is confusing and frustrating for both doctors and patients.
There are few, if any, early signs but there are certain signals that indicate something is wrong.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer
Researchers don’t know for sure what causes prostate cancer. They do know that it happens when there are changes in the genetic material .
Sometimes these genetic changes are inherited, meaning that you are born with them. There are also certain genetic changes that happen during your lifetime that can raise your risk of prostate cancer. But often the exact cause of these genetic changes is unknown.
Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are found early, through screening. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:
- Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back , chest , or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Most of these problems are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. For example, trouble urinating is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia , a non-cancerous growth of the prostate. Still, its important to tell your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Some men might need more tests to check for prostate cancer.
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What Are The Treatments For Prostate Cancer
Your treatment options usually depend on your age, your general health, and how serious the cancer is. Your treatment may include one or more of options:
- Observation,which is mostly used if you are older, your prostate cancer isn’t likely to grow quickly, and you don’t have symptoms or you have other medical conditions. Your doctor will keep checking on your cancer over time so to see whether you will need to start treatment for the cancer. There are two types of observation:
- Watchful waiting means having little or no testing. If symptoms begin or change, you will get treatment to relieve them, but not to treat the cancer.
- Active surveillance means having regular tests to see if your prostate cancer has changed. If the tests show the cancer is starting to grow or if you develop symptoms, then you will have treatment to try to cure the cancer.
When To See A Doctor
Because its so difficult to identify prostate cancer early, it can often be difficult to know when its right to see the doctor. Of course, any of the warning signs and symptoms mentioned above warrant a trip to the doctor.
There are, however, other scenarios when you should see your doctor for prostate cancer screening, notes the Urology Care Foundation. For example, screening is generally recommended for men between the ages of 55 and 69. And if you have additional risk due to being African-American or having a family history of prostate cancer, then you may want to get screened earlier.
A wise approach: Talk to your doctor about whether prostate cancer screening would be right for you.
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What Increases Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Factors that can elevate risk prostate cancer include:
- A family history of prostate cancer
- Inherited genetic mutations, such as BRCA1/BRCA2 genes and Lynch syndrome
- Conditions such as prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, and benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland
- A diet high in red meats and high-fat dairy and low in fruits and vegetables
- Age: approximately 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men older than 65
- Race and ethnicity: African-American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
Research has also shown that a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, may reduce prostate cancer risk.
Should I Have A Psa Test
Because the results of the PSA test are not as reliable as doctors would like, other tests and investigations are needed to diagnose prostate cancer.
A PSA test cannot identify prostate cancer on its own, and changes in PSA levels alone are not a good reason to start treatment.
If you are thinking about asking for a PSA test, it is important that you first discuss whether it is right for you with your GP so you understand what the results might mean.
The Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme has information on the risks and benefits of the PSA test to help you decide whether or not to have it.
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Other Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Some prostate cancer symptoms are less common and in some men may be associated with more advanced disease.
If you experience any of these prostate cancer symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately. There are many tests and procedures available for prostate cancer diagnosis and many options for prostate cancer treatment.
Originally published in February 2016 and updated.
What Are 5 Common Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
In many cases, prostate cancer does not produce clear symptoms in its initial stages of development. In fact, many men may have prostate cancer without even realizing it. However, there are some common warning signs that could indicate a person has prostate cancer. Five of the most common ones include:
Of course, these five symptoms are not the only potential warning signs of prostate cancer. Other possible indicators could include weak urine flow, and unexplained pain deep in the groin area when sitting down. If cancer has spread beyond the prostate, a man may also suffer lower body swelling, abnormal urinary or bowel habits, or inexplicable weight loss.
It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are not unique to prostate cancer, and may indicate a different condition that is not life-threatening.
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Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
How To Get Checked For Prostate Cancer
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of prostate cancer, it is important to see a doctor and get checked. There are a few different ways to check for prostate cancer.
One way is a digital rectal exam . The doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feel the prostate for any lumps or abnormalities. This can be uncomfortable, but it is not usually painful.
Another way to check for prostate cancer is with a prostate-specific antigen test. This test measures the level of PSA in your blood. PSA is a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. A high level of PSA in your blood may be an indication of prostate cancer.
If either of these tests suggests that you may have prostate cancer causes, your doctor will likely order additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. These may include a biopsy, in which small samples of tissue are taken from the prostate and examined under a microscope, or imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans.
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What Should I Do If I Have Prostate Cancer Symptoms
If you are displaying one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to promptly consult with a physician. Even benign prostate conditions like prostate enlargement warrant timely medical attention, so dont delay seeking treatment. And, like most other malignancies, prostate cancer is usually more easily treated when it is detected at an early stage.
Medically reviewed by Monica Chatwal, MD.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide a full range of diagnostic testing for prostate cancer. If you have received a prostate cancer diagnosis, we understand that every day counts, and we want to support you every step of the way. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on evaluating and treating prostate cancer.
Contact Moffitt at or complete a new patient registration form online to speak with one of our specialized oncologists about your symptoms. As Floridas top cancer hospital, were committed to providing all new patients rapid access to a cancer expert within a day of their reaching out.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed
Screenings are the most effective way to catch prostate cancer early. If you are at average cancer risk, youll probably have your first prostate screening at age 55. Your healthcare provider may start testing earlier if you have a family history of the disease or are Black. Screening is generally stopped after age 70, but may be continued in certain circumstances.
Screening tests for prostate cancer include:
- Digital rectal exam: Your provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate gland, which sits in front of the rectum. Bumps or hard areas could indicate cancer.
- Prostate-specific antigen blood test: The prostate gland makes a protein called protein-specific antigen . Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer. Levels also rise if you have BPH or prostatitis.
- Biopsy: A needle biopsy to sample tissue for cancer cells is the only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer. During an MRI-guided prostate biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging technology provides detailed images of the prostate.
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Bladder And Urinary Troubles
A prostate tumor that has grown significantly in size may start to press on your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the passage the carries urine from your bladder out of your body. If the tumor is pressing on your urethra, you might have trouble passing urine.
One of the common areas for prostate cancer to spread to is the bladder, because the two organs are close. This can cause additional problems with urination and bladder function.
Some symptoms your bladder and urethra are being affected by cancer include:
- urinating more frequently
- getting up in the middle of the night to pee
- feeling like you have to urinate often and not actually passing anything
Its not as common, but prostate cancer can also spread to your bowel. The cancer first spreads to the rectum, which is the part of your bowel closest to the prostate gland.
Symptoms of cancer thats spread to the bowels include:
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
In many cases, treatment is not immediately necessary.
If the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms, a policy of ‘watchful waiting’ or ‘active surveillance’ may be adopted. This involves carefully monitoring your condition.
Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages. Treatments include surgically removing the prostate, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
Some cases are only diagnosed at a later stage when the cancer has spread. If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, typically the bones, it cannot be cured and treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.
All treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects, including erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. For this reason, many people choose to delay treatment until there is a risk the cancer might spread.
Newer treatments, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound or cryotherapy, aim to reduce these side effects. Some hospitals may offer them as an alternative to surgery, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. However, the long-term effectiveness of these treatments are not yet known.
Read more about treating prostate cancer
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Stage 2 Prostate Cancer
In stage 2, the tumor is still confined to your prostate and hasnt spread to lymph nodes or other parts of your body. A doctor may or may not be able to feel the tumor during a prostate exam, and it may appear on ultrasound imaging. The survival rate is still .
The PSA score for stage 2 is less than 20 ng/mL.
Stage 2 cancer is further divided into three phases depending on the grade group and Gleason scores:
- Gleason score: 6 or less
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When Prostate Cancer Reappears
Prostate cancer may show up elsewhere in the body orafter treatmentreappear in the prostate or elsewhere. These cancers are:
Recurrent prostate cancer: This is a cancer that returns to the prostate after treatment. Its also called a local recurrence. Prostate cancer treatment is designed to kill cancerous cells, but it may leave some undetected cells behind.
Metastatic prostate cancer:
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Some Early Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Some potential early signs of prostate cancer include the following:
In addition, there can be weak and interrupted urine flow, unusual pain around the prostate when sitting, swelling in the lower back, feet, and legs, abnormal bowel function or urinary habits, and weight loss.
Each additional symptom you have could indicate a problem, so do not delay in scheduling a screening appointment with Cleveland Urology in Cleveland, OH.
How To Know Whether It Is Cancer
If you have any of the mentioned signs, you should see a doctor. They will take the steps to rule out cancer.
However, you can read here the different options :
The doctor checks your prostate through your rectum, with a finger. The prostate is in contact with the rectum so this is the way to palpate it.
Doing so, the doctor can check if it is enlarged, if it has hard nodules
It is detected through a blood test. The more prostatic tissue you have, the higher value of PSA you have.
It is useful if you have a normal PSA value, because that virtually rules out cancer. If your PSA is okey, your prostate is probably ok.
However, if you have a high PSA then you have more prostatic tissue than normal. Maybe you have BPH .
Prostatitis also causes a high PSA, because of the irritated tissue.
So if PSA is normal then everything is good. If PSA is high you probably need some extra tests to find out what is wrong.
An increased PSA can be due to prostate cancer, but also to BPH and prostatitis.
You go inside the MRI machine and stay still for around 30 minutes.
Usually, it also requires intravenous contrast so you will need an IV line.
- This test will tell the doctor if there are any suspiciousnodules inside the prostate. Also, it will show the prostate cancer stage.
- It will also show if it is a large prostate, but with no malignant nodules .
If there are no nodules, everythings fine. If there are you may need a biopsy.
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