About 6,000 Poles die from prostate cancer every year. Among them are men over forty years of age, although the peak incidence occurs in men aged 60 years and older. One of the symptoms men often ignore.
Prostate cancer is currently one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men in Poland. If detected at an early stage, the disease is curable, so it is important to monitor your body and regularly visit a urologist.
Why does a man need a prostate?
The prostate is a gland that performs a secretory function and is responsible for the production of fluid containing male reproductive cells, that is, sperm. The prostate is located in the pelvis, below the bladder. The urethra passes through its parenchyma, therefore An enlarged prostate causes problems with urination, which can be a symptom of cancer..
The shape of the prostate can be compared to a walnut. In a healthy patient, the size of the prostate gland is between 20 and 30 ml. But if the prostate is enlarged, it can be 7 times larger and look like a small watermelon. The prostate does not grow quickly, it increases slowly, month after month, so it does not immediately cause symptoms.
What are the first symptoms of prostate cancer?
According to experts at the Plan to Live Longer campaign, prostate cancer in general does not cause any typical symptoms. Moreover, this can be combined with benign hyperplasia of the gland, which is responsible for lower urinary tract symptoms, including:
frequent urination, even at night,
difficulty urinating, patients often have problems starting urination, the urine stream is intermittent or weak,
a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder; patients constantly feel the urge to urinate.
If prostate cancer is at an advanced stage, additional symptoms may appear:
lower abdominal pain,
blood in urine
blood in sperm
pain in the spine.
How quickly does prostate cancer develop?
Up to ten years can pass between the appearance of cancer cells and the first symptoms of prostate cancer! Therefore, a man may not notice that something alarming is happening to his body. Moreover, it is easy to get used to more frequent urination.
“The symptoms worsen gradually, so some patients ignore them. First, they get up once in the middle of the night to urinate. Then two, three times, or even more often, men get used to it or think that this is normal for their age.”– Pavel Wisz, MD, an employee of the Krakow Hospital in Kliny, spoke for Wprost about prostate cancer.
Does prostate cancer hurt?
In the early stages, prostate cancer does not hurt. Pain can only occur when the cancer has metastasized. At a very advanced stage of the disease, bones ache and limbs swell, which may indicate metastases to the bones or lymph nodes (lymphedema appears).
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Even if prostate cancer does not cause symptoms, it can be detected by a urologist during preventive examinations. Therefore, every man over 50 years of age should undergo a medical examination by a urologist once a year. Men whose loved ones have had prostate cancer should take care of prevention even earlier, after 40 years. A doctor can diagnose prostate cancer through a rectal examination (palpating the gland through the rectum) and measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. If necessary, the patient is referred for an MRI of the prostate and a prostate biopsy.
Can prostate cancer be cured?
The earlier prostate cancer is detected, the greater the chance that a man will remain healthy and sexually functional. There are different surgical treatment options: open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic-assisted surgery. “Among the available treatment methods, this is the most precise operation on which the final result depends – clearance of oncology, urinary continence, preservation of sexual functions (preserving the structures responsible for erection). This type of procedure is minimally invasive, so the patient stays in the hospital for a shorter period of time time and less blood loss occurs during the procedure. – explained Pavel Vish, Doctor of Medical Sciences.
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