Prostate cancer is a condition that typically affects older men. If you're over the age of 50, you should have your prostate examined at your annual physical checkup. However, while prostate cancer is rare in younger men, it's not unheard of. You should be aware of these four common symptoms of prostate cancer so you can stay on top of your health:
1. Frequent Urination
If you find yourself running to the bathroom more often than usual despite not drinking more fluid, you may have prostate cancer. You may find that this sensation is particularly strong at night because lying down places extra pressure on your prostate.
2. Difficulty Urinating
The muscles involved in voiding your bladder can be affected by prostate cancer. If you have difficulty urinating or find that your stream of urine is less forceful than usual, those may be signs of prostate cancer as well. If you feel that you're unable to completely empty your bladder while urinating, you should get checked out by a doctor.
3. Difficulty Getting Or Maintaining An Erection
Your prostate affects your overall sexual function. Men with prostate cancer may notice sexual difficulty. If you suddenly have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, prostate cancer is one possible explanation. A full checkup can allow your doctor to rule out other potential causes. However, you should be aware that some medications, such as SSRIs, can hinder sexual function. Make sure to tell your doctor about any medication or supplements you're taking at your appointment.
4. Blood In Your Urine Or Semen
There should never be blood in your urine or ejaculate. If you notice a reddish or pinkish tinge, you should get evaluated by your doctor right away. Bloody urine can be caused by kidney stones, overexertion, or severe dehydration, but it can also be caused by prostate cancer. Go to an urgent care clinic immediately if you notice this symptom because it could be a sign of a serious condition.
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it's a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will perform a blood test to check for unusually high levels of prostate-specific antigens. If high PSA is detected, you will be referred to a prostate cancer specialist. This specialist will perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. They will then work with you and your doctor to come up with a treatment plan to get you healthy again.