Prostate Cancer Symptoms
While the early signs may be subtle, there are symptoms associated with both Prostate Cancer and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Once the prostate gland is swollen, or once cancer spreads beyond the prostate, the following symptoms may occur:
- A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Difficulty starting or stopping a stream of urine
- A weak or interrupted urinary stream
- Leaking of urine when laughing or coughing
- Inability to urinate standing up
- A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
These are not cancer specific symptoms per say, as they can be caused by either a) blockage from the cancer growth in the prostate, b) an enlarged, noncancerous prostate or c) by a urinary tract infection.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer are a little more vague but are often mistaken for something other than prostate cancer so be sure to get tested if you suffer from:
- Dull, deep pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs, or upper thighs; pain in the bones of those areas
- Loss of weight and appetite, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
- Swelling of the lower extremities
- Weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs, often with constipation
Currently, there is no reliable, low-cost, easy-to-administer early detection test for aggressive prostate cancer (the PSA test does not distinguish between prostate cancer and benign conditions). Our first assay, for the detection of the type II transmembrane serine protease Hepsin, is being utilized to help determine if a prostate cancer patient is a good candidate for active surveillance, as opposed to more aggressive treatments. Ultimately, we feel our panel of tests, along with Hepsin, will be able to determine if aggressive prostate cancer is developing at the earliest stages of the disease. At Stage I Diagnostics, we are working diligently to improve the standard of care for prostate cancer patients by reducing unnecessary procedures and costs through better diagnosis of the disease.