Testing Options For Prostate Cancer
There is no one age for prostate cancer testing, but the American Cancer Society makes recommendations about prostate cancer screenings. According to the ACS, patients in any of these groups should consider asking their doctor about testing:
- Men age 50 or older who have an average risk of prostate cancer and a life expectancy of at least 10 more years
- Men age 45 or older with a high risk, including African-American men and those with a first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65
- Men age 40 or older who have a higher risk, such as more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age
Expert cancer care
How Common Is Prostate Cancer
About one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting males. Close to 200,000 American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year. There are many successful treatments and some men dont need treatment at all. Still, approximately 33,000 men die from the disease every year.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who has already received a prostate cancer diagnosis and begins to experience recurring back pain should see a doctor as soon as possible. Unexplained back pain can indicate that cancer has spread.
People with back pain who are concerned about the risk of prostate cancer should speak to their doctors.
Prostate cancer often causes no symptoms in the early stages. According to the National Cancer Institute , the most common method of detecting this cancer in the United States is prostate-specific antigen screening.
Levels of this protein increase when the prostate is dealing with irritation, swelling, or the growth of cancerous cells.
A magnetic resonance imaging or computerized axial tomography scan will show any damage or disease affecting the discs, ligaments, and other soft tissues that may result from metastasized prostate cancer.
Doctors can also diagnose bone metastases using a bone scan. This involves injecting a small amount of radioactive dye into a vein. The technician then scans a personÃ¢s body with a special camera, and the dye helps reveal bone damage that may result from cancer.
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Do Prostate Problems Cause Other Problems
Yes, a prostate problem may cause other problems, such as
- problems having sex
- feeling stressed due to chronic pain
- inflammation in areas near your prostate
Which problem you may get depends on the type of prostate problem you have. Other problems may vary from man to man for each type of prostate problem.
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Screening For Prostate Cancer
There are no tests available with sufficient accuracy to screen populations of men for early signs of prostate cancer. However, early detection and treatment can significantly improve prostate cancer survival.
The test most commonly used to aid early detection of prostate cancer is the prostate specific antigen blood test. This is not a diagnostic test as it can only indicate changes in the prostate. If you are concerned about prostate cancer you should talk to your doctor and make an informed choice about whether to have one of the tests designed to find early signs of prostate cancer, in view of the potential risks and benefits.
There are no proven measures to prevent prostate cancer.
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When To Have Psa Tests
The prostate gland produces a protein called PSA. Levels of this protein increase when the prostate is dealing with irritation, swelling, or the growth of cancerous cells.
High levels of PSA in the blood do not necessarily mean that an individual has prostate cancer, but they can suggest that further tests are necessary.
The Prostate Cancer Research Institute recommend that most men start having PSA tests at the age of 45.
Males with a higher risk of developing the disease, including those who are African-American or who have a family history of prostate cancer, should start undergoing these tests at age 40.
When To See Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Talk to your doctor if:
- You have trouble urinating or find that urination is painful or different from usual. Your doctor should check your prostate gland to see whether it is enlarged, inflamed with an infection, or cancerous.
- You have pain that doesnât go away in your lower back, pelvis, upper thighbones, or other bones.
- You lose weight for no clear reason.
- You have swelling in your legs.
- You have weakness in your legs or a hard time walking, especially if you also have constipation.
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Pain As Symptom Of Prostate Cancer
Approximately 70% to 85% of patients with advanced prostate cancer have associated clinically apparent bone metastases, while another 20% to 25% have metastatic liver lesions, explain the authors of the study Pain Management in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer.In addition to pelvic pain associated with primary tumor extension, these metastatic lesions cause pain that ranges from mild to very severe and may require extensive, highly individualized pain management. Pain is perhaps the one aspect of cancer that patients fear most, and effective pain control is a critical issue for patients and often a challenge for clinicians.
More Than Just Leg Pain
It wasnt until a sleepless night at a sports camp in Arizona that Whitmore says she knew something was seriously wrong. I couldnt sleep, and I was having a ton of sciatic nerve pain. I usually had it when I drove a long time or sat too longit was more annoying than anything.
The next morning she decided to try to go for a jog, and the pain immediately became excruciating. She opted instead to ride her bike, hoping that would ease the pain. Once I got on my bike I was in so much pain I was bawling. I flew back home to go to a nearby hospital. I knew whatever was going on was bad if I couldnt ride my bike. Whitmore never thought her leg pain could be cancerthe worst she thought it could be was a pulled a muscle.
After scans showed a grapefruit-sized mass near her ovary, she was referred to an obstetrician who performed an exploratory laparoscopy. He said he thought it was cancer, but I began to bleed out during surgery, so he was unable to retrieve a sample to biopsy. As her pain continued to increase, so did other symptoms. I wasnt able to use the restroom without pain I was bed-ridden, unable to walk. No one could tell me exactly what was wrong.
Courtesy Jamie Whitmore
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What Caregivers Can Do
- Help the patient gently stretch the tight muscle if they cant.
- Use heat, ice, or a cold washcloth to gently rub the cramped muscle if OK with the health care team and depending on which provides more comfort.
- If medicines are prescribed to prevent cramping, be sure they are taken as directed and watch for dizziness or stumbling.
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Urinating Frequently During The Day
It may be more difficult to notice a change in frequency during the day than at night. Most of us dont go around counting how many times we use the washroom in a given day!
Besides, whats normal, anyway?
Normal urination during the day is considered to be within a range offour to seven times for most healthy adult men. If youre going more often than this, it could indicate a prostate issue.
It can be easy to miss this sign. Drinking more water or caffeinated beverages than usual can be an easy explanation for a few extra trips.
Even a night out for dinner with a few more glasses of beer than usual can cause several extra trips to the bathroom because alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it triggers anincrease in urine production.
But like your nighttime routine, if you notice an ongoing pattern of having to go more often during the day, ask your doctor about it. A simple blood test and rectal examination is often the first diagnostic step, which is quick and painless.
Chronic Lower Back Pain
There are many reasons you may experience lower back pain, but if it’s something that’s been bothering you for awhile, it could be a sign of something more serious than sore muscles or bad posture. “It can be easy to ignore chronic low back pain and miss it as a prostate cancer symptom,” says Tempe, Arizona-based naturopathic oncologist Heather Paulson, ND. “If you have low back pain that’s not getting better with treatment, be sure to check your PSA and rule out prostate cancer. Sometimes it’s the first sign you’ll notice.”ae0fcc31ae342fd3a1346ebb1f342fcb
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Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression
Metastatic spinal cord compression happens when cancer cells that have spread from the prostate grow in or near to the spine, and press on the spinal cord. MSCC isnt common, but you need to be aware of the risk if your prostate cancer has spread to your bones or has a high risk of spreading to your bones. The risk of MSCC is highest if the cancer has already spread to the spine. Speak to your doctor or nurse for more information about your risk.
MSCC can cause any of the following symptoms.
- Pain or soreness in your lower, middle or upper back or neck. The pain may be severe or get worse over time. It might get worse when you cough, sneeze, lift or strain, go to the toilet, or lie down. It might get worse when you are lying down. It may wake you at night or stop you from sleeping.
- A narrow band of pain around your abdomen or chest that can move towards your lower back, buttocks or legs.
- Pain that moves down your arms or legs.
- Weakness or loss of control of your arms or legs, or difficulty standing or walking. You might feel unsteady on your feet or feel as if your legs are giving way. Some people say they feel clumsy.
- Numbness or tingling in your legs, arms, fingers, toes, buttocks, stomach area or chest, that doesnt go away.
- Problems controlling your bladder or bowel. You might not be able to empty your bladder or bowel, or you might have no control over emptying them.
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What Causes The Pain
We feel pain when our bones, muscles, organs, nerves or other parts of our bodies are damaged or irritated. Cancer which has spread into these areas might cause pain.
Sometimes pain can be due to cancer treatments. For example, radiotherapy to treat bone pain can sometimes cause your pain to get worse during treatment and for a few days afterwards. But this isnt very common.
Pain can also be caused by problems not linked to the cancer, such as an infection.
Some people dismiss pain and put it down to other causes, such as simply getting older. But if you have pain, you should always get it checked out by a doctor to find out the cause.
Your doctors and nurses will work with you to find out what is causing your pain. They will talk to you about suitable treatments and ways to manage your pain. There are effective ways to treat different types of pain.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer
Experts arent sure why some cells in the prostate gland become cancerous . Genetics appear to play a role. For example:
- Youre two to three times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father, brother or son has the disease.
- Inherited mutated breast cancer genes and other gene mutations contribute to a small number of prostate cancers.
Managing Bone Metastases And Pain
When prostate cancer cells spread to the bone, this is known as prostate cancer bone metastases . Bones are the most common site of prostate cancer metastasis, occurring in 85%90% of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Once the cells settle in the bone, they start to interfere with the bones normal health and strength, often leading to bone pain, fracture, or other complications that can significantly impair a mans health.
Early detection of bone metastases can help determine the best treatment strategy. It can also help ward off complications. Because men with prostate cancer bone metastases often experience painful episodes, pain management and improving quality of life are important goals of treatment.
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You Can’t Get Comfortable While Sitting
Discomfort or pain when sitting could signal a problem with your prostate, according toCancer.Net.
This type of pain might be caused by the prostate gland pressing on other areas of your pelvis. If you notice that you’re experiencing pain or pressure while seated but feel better when you’re standing up, that could be a red flag.
Types Of Hip Bone Cancer
Bone cancer falls into one of two categories: primary and metastatic. Primary bone cancer begins in the bones whereas metastatic bone cancer spreads from other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer is due to metastases from other cancers, most commonly breast and prostate.
These are four main types of primary bone cancer that can affect the hip:
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Can Back Pain Be A Symptom Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer cells may spread to a persons bones.
There can be a connection between back pain and prostate cancer, but back pain alone is not necessarily a sign of the disease.
In advanced prostate cancer, cancer cells spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body. These cells usually spread to the bones first, and doctors refer to this as bone metastasis.
If prostate cancer spreads to the bones, it most often reaches the spine, ribs, and hips. This occurs in stage 4 prostate cancer, and it can cause pain. According to ZERO, an advocacy group, bone metastases will affect more than 60 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer.
Individuals with chronic back pain that has no obvious cause should see a physician for an evaluation.
Treatments For Prostate Cancer Spread To Bones
If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it nearly always goes to the bones first. Bone metastasis can be painful and can cause other problems, such as fractures , spinal cord compression , or high blood calcium levels, which can be dangerous or even life threatening.
If the cancer has grown outside the prostate, preventing or slowing the spread of the cancer to the bones is a major goal of treatment. If the cancer has already reached the bones, controlling or relieving pain and other complications is also a very important part of treatment.
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Your Gp Practice Nurse And District Nurse
Your GP, practice nurse, and district or community nurse will work with other health professionals to co-ordinate your care and offer you support and advice. They can also refer you to local services. They can visit you in your home and also help support your family. They might also care for you if you go into a nursing home or hospice.
Symptoms Of Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Metastatic prostate cancer means that a cancer that began in the prostate gland has spread to another part of the body. It is also called advanced prostate cancer.
If your prostate cancer has spread you might:
- feel generally unwell
- have weight loss for no known reason
You might have specific symptoms depending on where the cancer has spread to. These symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions so might not be a sign that the cancer has spread.
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The Top 7 Signs Of Advanced Prostate Cancer
In the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms related to prostate cancer. This is why screenings are important. Symptoms can sometimes be noticed for the first time when the cancer advances.
Advanced prostate cancer, also called metastatic cancer, means the cancer has spread to other areas of your body beyond your prostate gland. The most common areas for prostate cancer to spread are your bladder, rectum, and bones. It can also spread to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other body tissues.
Whether youve just been diagnosed or youre in treatment, its also important to know the signs of advanced cancer. Cancer can behave differently depending on your genetics, so not every person will experience the same symptoms in the same way.
Read on to learn more about the seven top symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and how to spot them.