Prostate cancer may not show or cause any signs and symptoms in the early stages of development. The symptoms may appear if the tumor makes the prostate gland to enlarge, to an extent that it starts to press the urethra. This makes it difficult to pass the urine, and the patient may want to pass the urine more frequently. The symptoms are often similar to those of benign prostaticn hyperplasia (BPH). The signs and the symptoms are; a) Hesitancy, this is difficulty in starting the urine stream. b) The steam of urine is weak, meaning that it is not as the normal stream.
c) Some patients are not able to urinate at all, while others have a frequent urination. d) The feeling that even after urination, the bladder does not empty completely. e) Dyssuria, which is feeling a burning or pain during urination. f) Hematuria, the presence of blood in urine. g) Hematospermia, having blood in the semen. h) Deep pain in the hip, abdomen, pelvis and the lower back. These symptoms may be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an occurrence in the older men where the prostate enlarges.
As the man grows, the prostate also grows, and starts to press against the urethra when it gets big enough, causing problems to the bladder. They may also be caused by prostatitis, an infection of the prostate. If the urinary tract is infected, it may cause problems with the prostate gland. If the cancer has spread to the other body parts, the patient shows weight loss, swelling of the feet and pain in the bones, especially those at the lower back, the hips and the pelvis. (Godoy G, 2009) Diagnosis It is important for all men to regularly see the general practitioner for the regular check of their health.
Several tests can be run in order to diagnose the prostate cancer. The blood test In this method, the doctor needs to check the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) of the patient. To do this, he takes a sample of the patient’s blood. Prostate Specific Antigen is a type of protein that is produced by both the cancerous prostate cells and the normal cells. If the PSA level is high, then the person is said to be cancer positive. However, a person can have a high level of the PSA, in a condition that is not cancerous, if he has an infection.
The doctor has to be careful not to pronounce the possibility of a urine infection before carrying out the PSI test. It is therefore important that the person be tested for the PSA at least a month after the urine infection treatment finishes. PSA is normally measured in nanograms, per milliliter of blood. No PSA reading is considered normal. It varies from one man to another, but normal PSA increases as the man gets older. The PSA readings are interpreted as follows: a) 3 nanograms per milliliter or less – the normal reading for a person below 60 years.
b) 4 nanograms per liter or less – normal reading for men between 60 to 69 years of age. c) 5 nanograms per liter or less is considered to be for a man over the age of 70. If a reading is higher than these values, it may be because the prostate is enlarged, but the higher the values are from the above values, then the more likely that the person has prostate cancer. Also, the higher the PSA reading, then the more likely it is that the cancer will spread faster. If the person is diagnosed with prostate cancer, then the doctor places a gloved finger in to the rectum to feel the prostate gland and to check for the normal signs.
This is called the digital rectal examination (DRE). Rectal ultra sound Rectal ultra sound is the examination of the prostate gland. The patient is required to have a bowel movement before the examination, so that during the appointment, the bowels are empty. In order to diagnose the cancer, a small microphone is inserted at the rectum, to enable a clear view of the prostate gland. This type of scanning does not take long. It should also not hurt, although it might be uncomfortable.