As with most forms of cancerous disease, researchers and medical professionals are not sure as to what causes prostate cancer.
On a basic level, a prostate cancer diagnosis could be from an acquired genetic change in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. Some genetic changes can be inherited, making family history an important thing to look at when determining your risk for prostate cancer.
Without a clear understanding of what causes prostate cancer, the best thing you can do is know the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, and what can happen if left unnoticed or untreated.
In most prostate cancer cases, symptoms are not present in the early stages of the disease. And, even if symptoms are present, not all symptoms are the same, making it difficult to tell if it’s prostate cancer.
Beginning at age 50, the American Cancer Society recommends that men talk with a provider about prostate cancer screenings.
Prostate cancer symptoms
Many prostate cancer symptoms are urinary because of the proximity of the prostate gland to the bladder. Be aware of cancerous signs, including:
- Burning and pain with urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Bladder control loss
- Blood in urine
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your primary care provider and talk to them about a prostate cancer screening.
Early detection of prostate cancer is an important part in making sure the cancer does not spread and affect other areas of the body.
If the cancer has spread, your symptoms may include:
- Swelling in the legs
- Numbness or pain throughout the lower half of the body
- Constant bone pain that leads to fractures
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can and will vary from person to person. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms similar to those listed, take precaution and speak with your provider.
Early detection plays a key role in minimizing the damage that prostate cancer can cause.
What happens if prostate cancer is left untreated
As with most cancers, leaving prostate cancer untreated can leave you susceptible to metastasizing cancer. While the cancer may be confined to the prostate at first—if left untreated—it can spread in a multitude of ways.
The bladder and rectum are the most at-risk areas for cancer to spread due to their proximity to the prostate gland. However, metastasizing cancer can get into the bloodstream and travel and spread throughout the entirety of the body. What started as prostate cancer can ultimately become lung, stomach, and liver cancer.
Having urologic care on your side
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to have a urologist on your care team.
A urologist will know what to look for and may be able to detect an issue before any symptoms appear.
In the case that you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, your urologist will be able to provide you with a plan of action immediately.
At Logansport Memorial Hospital, our board-certified urologist Dr. Stephen Beck will provide you with the highest level of quality care.
With specialized urologic oncology training at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Dr. Beck is prepared to provide you specialized urologic care, closer to home.
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