Know the Early Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

Know the Early Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

In most cases, prostate cancer symptoms are not apparent in the early stages. Symptoms of prostate cancer may be different for each person, and any one of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions. As a result, routine screenings are recommended in the form of digital rectal exams and prostate-specific androgen (PSA) tests.

Early Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

Due to the proximity of the prostate gland to the bladder and urethra, prostate cancer is typically accompanied by a variety of urinary symptoms, especially in the early stages. Depending on the size and location, a tumor may press on and constrict one’s urethra, inhibiting the flow of urine. Some early prostate cancer signs include:

  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting & stopping urination
  • Frequent urges to urinate at night
  • Decreased flow or velocity of the urine stream
  • Blood in seme
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Painful ejaculation 

Prostate cancer may spread and form tumors in nearby organs or bones. If the cancer spreads to the spine, it may press on the spinal nerves. Signs of metastatic prostate cancer may include:

  • Swelling in legs or pelvic area
  • Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
  • Bone pain that doesn’t go away, or leads to fractures 

Symptoms of prostate cancer often differ from patient to patient. The most common first sign of recurrent prostate cancer is a rise in the PSA level in the blood, making regular PSA tests all the more important in measuring the progress of treatment and checking for signs of recurrence. It is important to report new signs or symptoms to your doctor.

The Prostate Specific Antigen Test

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of the PSA in the blood. The prostate gland produces PSA. PSA is a protein that at elevated levels can be a sign of prostate cancer. A high PSA reading may also indicate noncancerous conditions such as inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) and enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Both of these issues we at Z Urology are experienced to deal with.

In the past, a PSA reading of 4 ng/mL and below was considered normal. Men with a reading above 4 ng/mL were considered likely to have prostate cancer and would have a biopsy to confirm the cancer’s presence.

According to the National Cancer Institute, research has found that men with prostate cancer can test with a low PSA level, while men without prostate cancer can test at high levels. Only one in four men with an elevated PSA level actually has prostate cancer. However, an increase in PSA level over time may indicate a prostate tumor and should be monitored closely.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Typically the first test is around age 50. Men with one or more risk factors for prostate cancer should consult with their physician about whether to start routine screening earlier.

Understanding when symptoms are a sign of something serious and either diagnosing the disease or confirming a previous diagnosis require expertise from specialists trained and experienced in treating prostate cancer.

We are Z Urology. We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.

Study Shows Concussions in NFL Linked to ED

Study Shows Concussions in NFL Linked to ED

A newly released Harvard study found that former NFL players who have experienced head injuries (concussions) may be more likely to also experience low testosterone and erectile dysfunction (ED).

The study, published in the JAMA Neurology was based on a survey of more than 3,400 NFL players. Researchers with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School noted that this represents the largest study cohort of former professional football players to date.

The survey was conducted between 2015 and 2017.

For the survey, the participants were asked to report on how often blows to their head or neck caused them to feel dizzy, nauseated or disoriented. They were also asked if any jolts led to experiencing headaches, loss of consciousness or vision disturbances. All of these are indicators of a concussion. The responders were grouped into four categories by the number of concussive symptoms, researchers explained.

Next, the former players were asked whether a clinician had recommended medication for either low testosterone or ED, and whether they were currently taking such medications.

By the end of the survey, researchers found those who reported the most concussion symptoms were two-and-a-half times more likely to say they were either recommended to take, or are currently taking, medication for low testosterone compared to those who reported the fewest symptoms. Similarly, those who reported the most concussion symptoms were roughly two times more likely to say the same about ED medication.

“Former players with ED may be relieved to know that concussions sustained during their NFL careers may be contributing to a condition that is both common and treatable.” said, Rachel Grashow, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the study’s lead author.

Overall, 18 percent of participants reported low testosterone, and 23 percent reported ED. Nearly 10 percent said they experienced both.

Though the findings are observational and do not prove a definitive link between head trauma and ED, the results reveal an intriguing and powerful link between the history of the player’s concussions with hormonal and sexual dysfunctions, regardless of the player’s age.

Injury to the pituitary gland, the small organ at the base of the brain that’s responsible for hormone production could affect testosterone levels and ED, researchers explained as a possible explanation.

We are Z Urology. We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.

We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.