Swelling In Your Legs And Feet
According to Johns Hopkins University, swelling in your lower extremities could be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer, especially when it occurs alongside other symptoms, including “urinary or erectile dysfunction.” When the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, it causes a blockage, which leads to the build-up of fluids and swelling in your body. And for more on serious cancer symptoms you need to know about, check out 13 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is Trying to Tell You Something’s Wrong.
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.
Pain In The Lower Pelvic Area
Cornell also says that as prostate cancer becomes more advanced, you may also experience a dull pain in your lower pelvic area. It’s described as being very similar to the pain you feel when you have a toothacheânot the type of pain or soreness you would feel after a hard workout. And for misconceptions about your well-being, check out 20 Worst Men’s Health Myths That Just Won’t Die.
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How Much Pain Might I Have
Some men have no pain at all. Men who do have pain experience different levels of pain. Some men only feel mild discomfort and are able to carry out their daily activities as normal, but other men find that the pain affects their daily lives.
Only you can describe how your pain feels. Another man with advanced prostate cancer may not feel pain in the same way. So predicting how much pain you might have is difficult, as it varies from man to man.
How much pain you have will depend on several things, including:
- where the pain is
- whats causing the pain
- how soon your doctor or nurse can help you manage the pain
- finding the right pain relief for you
- taking the right amount of pain-relieving drugs at the right times
- how tired you feel
- how well you feel in general
- if you feel anxious
- if you feel depressed.
Prostate Cancer Can Cause Pain In Many Areas And Not Just Because Of Bone Spread But Also Due To Other Features Of The Disease
It can feel different ways depending on the nature of the cause.
Curable early stage prostate cancer usually does not cause pain, says Sean Cavanaugh, MD, a radiation oncologist with GenesisCare, a premier provider of cancer and urology care.
That is the most important message do not use pain as a primary screening mechanism for prostate cancer.
Most pain associated with prostate cancer is from bone metastases in stage IV disease.
For example, men with bone metastases to their spine may have pain in their back.
Prostate cancer can spread to the ribs , pelvis and femur .
Prostate cancer metastases to the spine, pelvis and femur.Wan-Hsiu Liao, Sheng-Hsiang Lin and Tsu-Tuan Wu, CC BY-SA 2.0/creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Wikimedia Commons
Even shoulder and arm pain are possible when a metastatic tumor is pressing against the spine.
Bone metastases occur in approximately 80% of patients with advanced prostate cancer, says the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
When prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it almost always goes first to the bones.
Bone pain from prostate cancer can feel like a dull ache or feel like a toothache in the bones, or you may feel a sharper sensation.
Can worsen with movement
May come and go or be constant
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/10one Warning Sign To Watch Out For In Your Leg
Advanced prostate cancer symptoms may vary depending on the location targeted by the spread.
But one sign of a spreading tumor can be spotted in the leg, which is swelling. The swelling takes place because the prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, according to Cancer Research UK.
Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped clusters of cells that contain a combination of different types of immune system cells that combat infections. These are present all over the body including the groin area.
That said, if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, close to the prostate, it could lead to swelling in the legs.
Is Back And Hip Pain A Symptom Of Prostate Cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology estimates 174,650 cases of prostate cancer this year alone. As the most commonly occurring type of cancer in menmostly those over the age of 50.
That isnt to say that you cant get it at a younger age, but the risk of getting this type of cancer is lower. However, studies have pointed to the growing incidence of prostate cancer among younger males as well. This is owing to environmental factors and early screenings.
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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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So What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Unfortunately, there usually arent any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. Thats why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.
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In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.
That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter whats most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.
Download or order your free copy of the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide now with COVID-19 Appendix.
Pay Attention To Aches And Pains Especially In The Bones
When cancer weakens bones, they can become painful and it can hurt to stand up. If you experience such pain and difficulty, its important to report these symptoms to your doctor, according to the ACS. If some part of a bone has been damaged by tumors, a surgeon may be able to affix a rod to help strengthen it.
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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.
What Should I Do If I Have Pain
Let your doctor or nurse know about any pain you have as soon as possible. The earlier you ask for help, the easier it will be to get your pain under control. With the right treatment and management, your doctor and nurse should be able to help you control your pain.
Dont think that you are complaining too much or that you should put up with pain. You shouldnt have to accept pain as a normal part of having cancer. Pain will affect your daily life if it isnt properly controlled.
As well as treatments, there are things you can do yourself that might help with your pain.
What questions might my doctor or nurse ask about my pain?
Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your pain to try to get as much information about it as possible. This will help them work out the best treatment for you. They might ask you the following questions.
- Where is your pain?
- What does it feel like? For example, is it a stabbing pain, or a dull ache?
- When did the pain start? How often do you get it? How long does it last?
- Does it wake you at night?
- Does anything help?
- Have you tried any pain-relieving medicines? Did they help?
- Does anything make it worse?
- How does your pain make you feel? For example, do you feel anxious or depressed? Does this affect the pain?
- How does the pain affect your daily life?
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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.
How Is Sciatica Related To Leg Swelling
Although there can be a correlation between sciatica and leg swelling, the cause is not always clear. Sciatica is a general term describing symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve which starts in the lower back and runs all the way down the leg. In addition to pain in the lower back, compression of this nerve also causes radiating symptoms like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness in the hips, buttocks and legs.
Leg swelling is more commonly associated with fluid retention and circulatory issues, not nerve compression, so it is not typically listed as a sciatica symptom. However, sciatica and leg swelling can be connected because the pain and limited mobility from sciatica often lead to an inactive lifestyle that can cause fluid buildup and blood flow problems. If you have been living with sciatica and are also dealing with swelling in your legs, it is important to see your doctor for a clear diagnosis of what is causing both conditions. Learn more about the connection between sciatica and leg swelling in the following article.
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Follow Your Treatment Plan
Standard treatments used to prevent or slow the growth of prostate cancer may also help relieve symptoms such as pain. These include hormonal therapy chemotherapy, which directly attacks the tumor and surgery, according to ACS.
Additionally, there are treatments that can target bone metastases more specifically options include drugs called bisphosphonates, which help strengthen bones and prevent fractures external radiation therapy ablation techniques corticosteroids and pain medications.
Men with advanced prostate cancer should stick closely to their treatment protocol, says Gilligan, because we have abundant evidence that reduce pain.
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.
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Pain In Advanced Prostate Cancer
Advanced prostate cancer-related pain in the hips, back, ribs, or groin is often described as a dull, deep pain, similar to a toothache, and is much different than most other pain that comes after overuse or general soreness.
Recent research has shown that many men with advanced prostate cancer often ignore pain and pain-related symptoms, do not discuss pain with their healthcare providers and have difficulty discussing pain-related symptoms with caregivers and healthcare providers.11 Men should definitely discuss any type of pain they are feeling with their healthcare provider at the first possible sign and be sure to express the degree to which it affects them so that their provider can test appropriately.
Pain in the hips, back, ribs, or groin as a result of advanced prostate cancer can often be treated, however, treatment is typically palliative in nature. Palliative care involves treating symptoms, such as bone pain, but not curing the underlying condition causing the symptom. Although the treatment regimen for an individuals prostate cancer can be adjusted in attempts to cure the cancer, the cancer typically is incurable once it has become widespread in the bones. This is why bone pain as a result of advanced cancer is treated palliatively. The main types of treatment for bone pain as a result of prostate cancer include, medications, radiation, and surgery.1-4
Who Is More Likely To Develop Prostatitis
The factors that affect a mans chances of developing prostatitis differ depending on the type.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Men with nerve damage in the lower urinary tract due to surgery or trauma may be more likely to develop chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Psychological stress may also increase a mans chances of developing the condition.
Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Men with lower UTIs may be more likely to develop bacterial prostatitis. UTIs that recur or are difficult to treat may lead to chronic bacterial prostatitis.
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Take Steps To Reduce Stress
How we experience pain is strongly influenced by our mental state, says Gilligan. Work with family members and your spouse or partner to reduce stress less stress may help reduce pain. While you cant avoid stress completely, getting plenty of sleep, eating well, staying active, and practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help keep your stress level in check, according to the National Institutes of Health .
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.
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