Prostate cancer can be hard to identify, as it doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. However, if the tumour presses on a certain tube, symptoms can begin to appear.
Macmillan Cancer Support explains that the prostate is a gland that produces semen.
It’s the size of a walnut, divided into two lobes, and grows bigger as men age.
The gland is located below the bladder, and in front of the back passage (rectum).
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It’s situated fairly close to the urethra – the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the tip of the penis.
The main function of the prostate gland is to produce fluid that later mixes with sperm.
The fluid is kept in a tube-shaped gland called the seminal vesicle.
And during intercourse, muscle tissue helps to force (ejaculate) prostate fluid and sperm into the urethra.
The male sex hormone, testosterone, is responsible for how the prostate works.
Cancer Research UK states: “Most prostate cancers tend to start in the outer part of the prostate gland.
“This means that to cause symptoms the cancer needs to be big enough to press on [the urethra].”
One such symptoms is “getting up during the night to empty your bladder”.
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Medically known as nocturia, the condition involves waking up more than once each night to go to the bathroom.
The Urology Care Foundation commented: “[People] should be able to sleep for six to eight hours during the night without needing to use the bathroom.
“It’s important to remember that nocturia is a sign of something going on in our bodies.”
For instance, prostate cancer. Although it could be a sign of an enlarged prostate.
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An enlarged prostate pressed on the urethra is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH doesn’t develop into cancer, but it’s possible to have an enlarged prostate and cancer cells inside the prostate at the same time.
Other symptoms of prostate cancer, pointed out by Cancer Research UK include the following:
- Passing urine more often
- Difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying your bladder completely and Straining when starting to empty your bladder
- Blood or semen in your urine
Any of those symptoms are best discusses with a GP – who are still available for telephone appointments.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cancer Research UK has some sage advice for those concerned they may be showing signs of cancer.
“If you have symptoms of cancer you should still contact your doctor and go to any appointments you have,” the charity begun.
“Spotting cancer early means treatment is more likely to be successful.”
GPS are still able to make urgent referrals to specialists or for tests if they are concerned you may have cancer.
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