Prostate cancer: Eight changes to bathroom habits indicating you may be at risk of disease04/09/2021
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The disease usually develops slowly, so it can take years for symptoms to develop. Symptoms usually appear when the prostate is large enough to put pressure on the urethra. When pressure is placed on the urethra, it can cause changes in urinary habits and bladder control, which are usually the first sign of the disease. “You’ll usually only get early symptoms if the cancer grows near the tube you urinate through (the urethra) and presses against it, changing the way you urinate,” said Prostate Cancer UK.
Bupa lists the symptoms of prostate cancer as:
- Unable to urinate (retention)
- Needing to urinate urgently
- Needing to urinate more often than usual
- Getting up to urinate during the night
- Blood in your urine
- A week flow of urine when you go to the toilet
- Trouble starting or stopping when you urinate
How to check
The PSA test is the recommended method for checking if you have the disease. But what does it entail – is it a blood test, a urine sample or a rectal examination?
Professor Hashim Ahmed, Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital, is asking men not so shy away from having a prostate check, and details what to expect from the test.
Men over the age of 50 who have talked through the advantages and disadvantages of having a PSA test with their GP or practice nurse are eligible for a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test.
The first stage of the process is a simple blood test.
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Other symptoms of prostate cancer can include passing urine more often in general and hesitancy.
Hesitancy involves straining to empty your bladder, and you may also have a weaker urine flow or feel as though you’ve not emptied your bladder properly.
There may be a sense of urgency when you feel a sudden need to urinate, and any blood in your urine or semen could be a warning sign of the condition.
These symptoms of prostate cancer could also be a sign of an enlarged prostate.
Prostate enlargement is common in men aged over 50 and is not usually a serious threat to health.
Symptoms of prostate enlargement are very similar to prostate cancer, with which they can be easily confused.
This is especially true in men over 50, as prostate cancer is also more common in men over that age. The risk of developing prostate cancer rises the older you get.
“If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem,” said Prostate Cancer UK.
Stages of cancer
Stage one – the cancer is in only half of one side of the prostate, or less, and it’s contained in the prostate.
Stage two – the cancer is in more than half of one side of the prostate but is still contained within the prostate gland.
Stage three – this means the cancer has broken through the covering (capsule) of the prostate gland.
Stage four can mean different things, such as:
The cancer has spread into nearby body organs, such as the back passage or bladder
The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes
The cancer has spread to other parts of the body outside the pelvis, such as the lungs or liver.
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