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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Elder Health Plans, August 20, 2018

Prostate cancer is a sneaky disease. Often, a man will experience zero signs of illness until his cancer has begun to spread to other parts of the body. At that point, he begins to suspect something is wrong… But now that the cancer has become metastatic (invaded other areas of the body), it is much more difficult to treat. That’s why early screenings and detection are so important.

So, yes, it is important to attend regular screenings and follow your physician’s advice regarding cancer prevention. But, it is also important to learn these signs of advanced prostate cancer, so that you can seek treatment right away if the disease does develop.

Urinary troubles. As the tumor grows, you might notice that you need to urinate more frequently. You might experience difficulty passing urine, even though you feel the need, or you might experience incontinence. You might also notice blood in your urine.

Bowel problems. If the cancer in your prostate spreads to your bowels, you might experience stomach pain, constipation, or blood in your stool.

Swelling or soreness in the groin. This is usually a sign that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Hip, back, or leg pain. Since the spine is located close to the prostate, the cancer sometimes begins to affect this area. You might notice tingling or swelling in your legs, or pain in your back, hips, or legs. If the cancer spreads to your bones, they might become brittle and break more easily.

Unexplained weight loss. If you haven’t been eating less or exercising more, see your doctor any time you experience weight loss. It can be a sign of cancer and several other chronic diseases.

A cough that doesn’t go away. If you’re struggling with a chronic cough or have trouble breathing, it is possible that cancer has spread into your lungs.

The important thing to remember is that any unusual symptom should be reported to your doctor right away. Once cancer begins to produce these more obvious signs, it can still be treated. But you will want to get started as early as possible for the best odds of remission and survival.

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