Listed below are the most common early signs and symptoms of prostate cancer in senior citizens, along with the risk factors, available treatment options and other important info.
One of the initial symptoms of prostate cancer involves changes in urinary patterns. These changes may include increased frequency of urination, especially during the night, also known as nocturia. Men might also experience a weak urine stream or a sudden decrease in urine flow.
Additionally, there may be a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder after urination, leading to persistent feelings of urgency or the need to strain while urinating.
Another common warning sign of prostate cancer is Hematuria, which is the presence of blood in the urine, which can appear pink, red, or brown in color. Also a possible symptom that often occurs is Hematospermia, which is characterized by the presence of blood in semen. Typically and most understandably, blood in urine or semen is the early symptom that sounds off the alarm more than anything else.
Prostate cancer can have a significant impact on sexual health, leading to a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). ED causes an inability to have an erection or to sustain it for a sufficient period of time during sexual intercourse. This happens due to the tumor’s effect on nerve function and blood flow in the genital area. Apart from prostate cancer, this embarrassing symptom can also be caused by various other factors, such as stress, anxiety, smoking or a poor diet. The only way to know for sure is to get a screening as soon as possible.
In some cases, men may experience pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, lower back, hips, or thighs. This pain can range from mild to severe, and may be persistent or intermittent. It is usually caused by the tumor pressing against nearby tissues, nerves, or bones. In more advanced stages of prostate cancer, senior citizens may notice unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or general weakness.
Early detection of prostate cancer is crucial for effective treatment and improved outcomes. While the aforementioned symptoms can indicate prostate cancer, they can also be attributed to various other conditions. Therefore, routine screening is essential from early adulthood and onwards. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is commonly used for screening. Elevated levels of PSA may suggest the presence of prostate cancer, but further diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, are necessary for confirmation.
While understanding the early symptoms is crucial, it is equally important to be aware of the risk factors associated with this disease. Some common risk factors include age, family history of prostate cancer, ethnicity (African American men are at higher risk), and certain genetic mutations.
As mentioned above, early detection of prostate cancer increases the chances of successful treatment and improved outcomes. Senior citizens should not ignore or dismiss any concerning symptoms, as they may indicate an underlying health issue, including prostate cancer.
Prompt action, such as consulting a healthcare professional, can lead to early diagnosis, appropriate treatment planning, and better long-term prognosis. Proactive engagement in healthcare and regular screenings can significantly contribute to early detection and timely intervention.
Over the years, advancements in prostate cancer treatment options have significantly improved patient outcomes. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer now have access to a range of treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapies.
The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the stage of cancer, overall health status, and individual preferences. Consulting with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals can help determine the most suitable treatment approach for each patient.
Like any form of cancer, prostate cancer is a scary disease that can cause a lot of anxiety and distress with the patient and their loved ones.
Thankfully however, there are many outlets of support available. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed, it is crucial to get as much support as possible from therapy groups, medical professionals, family and friends. To boost the effectiveness of treatments, adhering to a healthy diet low in carbs and sugars will also help fight off the cancer, as it feeds and grows on carbs. All of these methods will help you feel better and increase your chances of conquering this dreaded cancer.