It’s no surprise that early and accurate diagnosis is crucial to treat cancers. When it comes to prostate cancer, not all prostate cancers are equal: Some grow very slowly and may never need any treatment, while others grow faster and can become fatal in just a few months without treatment.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your urologist will recommend a biopsy or other tests to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the stage of the cancer. Your urologist will also check the grade of the cancer, which is scored on the Gleason scale. The doctor will explain what this means in your case, as every man’s prostate cancer is very different.
Let’s talk about five key signs which can indicate that your prostate cancer is advanced, how you can spot these signs, and where you can go in the Phoenix area for excellent men’s health treatment and preventive care by an experienced urologist.
Prostate Cancer Sign #1: Bladder and Urinary Troubles
If prostate cancer is at an advanced stage, the prostate has likely grown significantly in size because of the tumor growing inside the gland. This enlarged prostate therefore starts pressing against your urethra and bladder, which can lead to trouble passing urine.
The following signs can indicate that your bladder and urethra are affected by prostate cancer:
- Frequent urination
- Getting up at night to urinate
- Blood in semen or urine
- The urgency to urinate but not passing urine
- Inability to hold urine
These signs can also indicate BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), so your urologist will be able to determine the precise cause.
Prostate Cancer Sign #2: Losing Bowel Control
When prostate cancer is advanced, it can spread to your bowel (large intestine). The rectum is at the lowest part of the bowel, close to the prostate gland, and so prostate cancer oftentimes first spreads to the rectum. Signs that can indicate the spread of cancer to the bowels include constipation, pain in the stomach area, blood in your stool, and bowel incontinence.
Prostate Cancer Sign #3: Soreness in the Groin
Advanced prostate cancer can cause the cancerous cells to spread (metastasize) to your lymph nodes, especially those that are located in the lower abdominal and pelvic area. Lymph nodes are part of the immune system’s lymphatic system, and they filter excess fluid and fight infection.
Your groin area has several lymph nodes that are close to the prostate gland, which is why the cancer often spreads to these lymph nodes first and prevents them from working properly. When the cancer cells prevent lymph nodes from working, the lymph nodes can become swollen, which can result in pain and soreness in the groin area.
Prostate Cancer Sign #4: Pain in the Hip or Lower Back
Prostate cancer can easily spread to a hip bone and spine bone (vertebra). In bones, cancerous cells can crowd out the normal healthy bone tissue, thereby making them brittle and easy to break. Cancerous cells in the spinal vertebrae can also push against your spinal cord so that it damages the adjacent nerves and limits nerve function.
When cancer spreads to your bones, it results in a dull ache or stabbing pain. This pain does not go away and requires pain-control measures as recommended by your doctor.
Prostate Cancer Sign #5: Coughing or Feeling Out of Breath
If you have prostate cancer and are having trouble breathing, this could mean that the cancer has spread to your lungs. The signs that can indicate cancer has spread to your lungs include cough, blood in the cough, and feeling out of breath.
Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
For prostate cancer testing, diagnosis, and effective treatment, visit our expert urologist at Ironwood Urology. Dr. Desi Avila is our board-certified urologist who will thoroughly check your symptoms and recommend your treatment options.
If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, call us today at (480) 961-2323. You can also fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you overcome your cancer!