Approximately one in nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, though it is more common in older adults. Eighty percent of men over 80 have cancer cells in their prostate. Research indicates African Americans face a higher risk than other ethnicities. In its early stages, prostate cancer often goes unnoticed because the symptoms are mild or easily attributed to other causes. Early detection increases the likelihood of successful treatment, however.
There are many benign reasons for interrupted flow of urination. In particular, during the transition from middle age to old age, the prostate gland often becomes enlarged, medically known as prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although an enlarged prostate is not comfortable, it is not life-threatening in and of itself but can cause symptoms similar to those of prostate cancer.
Urge To Urinate Frequently
An inability to urinate when the need arises or an urge to urinate more frequently can also point to prostate cancer or other problems with this organ. Men who experience this symptom may also find that after they relieve themselves, they need to go again due to incomplete voiding of the bladder. If they are over the age of fifty, enlarged prostate is the most likely cause. However, this is also a symptom of prostate cancer.
Frequent Nighttime Urination and Bowel Movements
If a man finds that he needs to get up for the bathroom many times each night, he should consult a doctor. This mostly becomes a concern if it happens on a regular basis. While irregular bowel movements and frequent nighttime urination may be part of aging, they are also signs of prostate cancer.
Pain While Urinating
Painful urination is one of the most recognizable signs of a prostate condition or cancer, though urinary tract infections can also cause this symptom, as can dehydration. Other causes of painful urination include sexually transmitted infections and an enlarged prostate. Painful urination that does not go away in a few days should be medically investigated.
Blood in the Urine
Blood in urine can indicate kidney damage and may be a symptom of prostate cancer, excretory diseases, kidney stones, or urinary tract infections. Certain sexually transmitted diseases also present with this symptom. Men may notice their urine is pink, red, or tea-colored, but in some cases, blood is present but not visible to the naked eye.
Constipation and Intestinal Distress
In many cases, constipation can be due to an unbalanced diet rather than a life-threatening illness. However, chronic constipation or changes in bowel habits can be symptoms of prostate cancer and should always be mentioned to a doctor. People who regularly experience constipation are more likely to develop prostate gland problems because constipation places pressure on the gland.
Pain in the Lower Back
A deep ache in the lower back that continues for a long time, or one that comes and goes chronically, can be a symptom of prostate cancer. Lower back aches have many causes, but if it seems to originate deep inside the body, it could point to advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones of the lower back.
Pain Around the Upper Thighs
Although the upper thighs are not an obvious location for symptoms of prostate cancer, pain in this region can indicate a problem. Soreness or sharp pain at the groin, where the thighs meet the pelvis, should be investigated by a doctor if the cause is not easily attributed to exercise or injury. As with the low back, people often describe this symptom as a consistent, deep ache.
Pain in the Hips
Deep, aching pain in the hip is generally one of the first noticeable signs of prostate cancer. The likelihood that a prostate issue is the cause of such pain increases as men grow older. Often, the pain is the result of cancer that spread to the hip bones.
While it might be the result of an enlarged prostate, if other symptoms of prostate cancer accompany incontinence, prostate cancer could be the cause. Less control over the bladder is common as people age, but the prostate gland’s proximity to the urethra can interfere with normal muscle contraction within the urinary system.