Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. While it can be treated very effectively, especially when found early, it's a serious condition. The problem with prostate cancer is that there aren't usually symptoms until it's at a more advanced stage because it grows slowly over time for most men. There are some types of prostate cancer that grow aggressively and can spread quickly, causing a sudden onset of symptoms.
Some common prostate cancer symptoms you need to be aware of include:
Most of these symptoms are also the symptoms of something other than prostate cancer. For example, urination issues could be related to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. Additionally, erectile dysfunction issues could be related to factors such as smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or simply getting older.
If you are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to have them checked out by a doctor, even if they turn out to be something other than prostate cancer.
Regular screenings make it possible to diagnose prostate cancer earlier, when it's easier to treat. That's why you should have your annual screenings starting at age 50 for most men, even if you feel fine. The American Cancer Society recommends that you start discussing prostate cancer screenings with your doctor around the age of 40 to determine if you're at a higher risk. Together, you can decide what would be best for you based on your lifestyle, family history and personal health history.
Read our blog to learn when you should get a prostate cancer screening.