Prostate cancer may produce a feeling that ‘wakes you up at night’

Prostate cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses symptoms

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Pain is a common affliction among prostate cancer patients, particularly in the advanced stages of the disease. Where this occurs, however, will depend greatly on the body parts affected by the tumour. A common place for prostate cancer to spread is the bones, which causes a specific type of pain that may strike at night.

According to the National Cancer Institute: “The most common symptom of cancer that has spread to the bone is bone pain.

“It is usually there most of the time and can wake you up at night. The pain can be a dull ache of stabbing pain.”

As the bones become progressively weakened by the disease, they may be increasingly prone to breakages and fractures.

Prostate Cancer UK notes: “Bone pain is a very specific feeling.”

It continues: “Some men describe it as feeling similar to a toothache but in the bones, or like a dull aching or stabbing.

“It can get worse when you move and can make the area tender to touch. Each man’s experience of bone pain will be different. The pain may be constant or it might come and go.”

How bad it is, however, will also vary and may depend on where the affected bone is.

Cancer cells spread to the bones by breaking away from the prostate gland and escaping attacks from the immune system, allowing them to travel to the bones.

Once the bones have been invaded, new tumours grow, most often forming on the spine.

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in men, killing around one in 41 of those diagnosed.

Although it is a serious disease, catching it out in the initial stage most often leads to favourable health outcomes.

Unfortunately, while some early cancers have signs and symptoms that can be noticed, it is not always the case.

Symptoms rarely appear until prostate cancer begins to exert pressure against the tube that carries urine; from the bladder to the penis.

When this does happen, patients may notice:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • Need to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty win starting to pee
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow.

It should be noted that symptoms such as difficulty passing urine are rarely caused by prostate cancer.

“These symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer,” explains the NHS.

“Many men’s prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called benign prostate enlargement.”

The condition, known as hyperplasia, is a common occurrence in older men aged 60 and over.

When urinary changes are symptomatic of cancer, they’re likely to be accompanied by a loss of appetite, pain in the testicles and unintentional weight loss.

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