Prostate Cancer-Early warning signs you should know

Prostate Cancer-Early warning signs you should know
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Prostate Cancer-Early warning signs you should know

Highlights

In the last few years, problems have emerged as the leading cause of cancer cases among men in India.

In the last few years, problems have emerged as the leading cause of cancer cases among men in India. Despite the alarming statistics, there is a certain level of stigma associated with visiting a doctor for prostate checkup due to the lack of awareness and social hesitancy. Prostate Cancer is a treatable disease if diagnosed at an early stage, and understanding the early warning signs of the disease can prove to be highly beneficial.

Prostate is a gland in male reproductive system that is closely linked to the urinary functions of the body. Prostate problems are quite frequent in men of all ages, but it is especially important for men over 50 to be aware of the symptoms and early warning signs. Regular prostate exams are also an imperative part of maintaining a good prostate health and to avoid any disease from advancing to the next stage. Few most common ailments and complications related to prostate are inflammation (Prostatitis), Prostate Enlargement (BPH) and Prostate Cancer. In cases, when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and is only limited to the prostate gland, recovery and treatment are more effective and easier. If the cancer spreads to the other organs before being diagnosed, the treatment becomes more invasive, and the recovery period is also longer. A few early warning everyone should be vigilant about are as follows:

Frequent urination at night particularly- An enlarged prostate is likely to impose excess pressure on urethra which results in blocking urine flow and causes irritation to the wall of urinary bladder. The blockage can cause the bladder to contract much before it's completely full and the condition is more common at night.

Trouble during urination- Once the cancer starts to grow it will lead to a range of noticeable symptoms that includes pain during urination, discomfort in standing up to pass urine and a weaker stream while urinating. Blood in urine or semen- Any blood in urine is a cause for alarm as it can indicate a number of diseases including prostate cancer. When the cancer grows and reaches an advanced stage, the urine can contain blood. Trouble during ejaculation- Prostate cancer can give rise to pain or certain sensations while ejaculating as the prostate gland is a crucial part of the male reproductive system. In some cases, this can further lead to erectile dysfunction.

Pressure on Rectum- As the cancer grows, it can make the prostate gland enlarged which in turn can put continuous pressure on the rectum.

Aside from the symptoms listed above, if any other abnormalities are observed, immediate expert consultation is necessary to prevent any harmful consequences. Depending on the stage of cancer, the medical expert can suggest certain radiation therapy or surgical procedures to remove the tumor and live a hassle-free life. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and hydration can help one remove the unwanted toxins from the body. Prostate cancer is curable with early detection.

(The author is a consultant Urologist and Andrologist at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Kondapur, Hyderabad)

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