Prostate cancer symptoms usually don’t begin to appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (the urethra). This type of cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, but usually develops slowly and it can take years for signs to show. But when the symptoms do start they can affect how a person goes to the toilet. According to Bupa there are four signs to look out for.
According to the health organisation, the symptoms to look out for when you go to the toilet include:
- Problems passing urine, such as needing to go urgently or often, or being unable to go at all. Some men also find they have trouble starting to urinate, have a weak flow of urine or feel like their bladder hasn’t fully emptied.
- Blood in your urine.
- Pain when your urinate.
- A urine infection.
- Difficulty getting an erection.
Another symptom that’s worth knowing is difficulty getting an erection.
If the cancer spreads even more, symptoms affecting other parts of the body can develop.
These symptoms include:
- Feeling tired and generally unwell
- Pain in your bones or your back
- Losing weight
These symptoms don’t always mean a person has prostate cancer.
Many men’s prostate get larger as they get old because of a condition called prostate enlargement.
The condition, its full name benign prostate enlargement, is common in men aged over 50.
But prostate enlargement is non-cancerous. The NHS advises: “Many men worry that having an enlarged prostate means they have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This is not the case.
“The risk of prostate cancer is no greater for men with an enlarged prostate than it is for men without an enlarged prostate.”
Prostate cancer treatment
Treatment will depends on where a person’s cancer is, how far it’s grown or spread, and a person’s general health and levels fitness.
But the main treatment options are surgery, external and internal radiotherapy, hormone therapy, high frequency ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy and symptom control treatment.
Cancer Research UK says: “You have one or more of these treatments depending on the stage of your cancer.
“Surgery or radiotherapy work equally well at curing early prostate cancer. Each treatment has benefits and side effects. Your doctors and nurses will tell you what your options are and help you make the decision about your treatment.”
If you experience any of these symptoms of prostate cancer, see your GP.