There are other prostate conditions which can mirror symptoms related to prostate cancer. It is important that you meet with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below in order to determine what might be causing those symptoms.
Early prostate cancer generally does not exhibit any symptoms. Oftentimes, an initial diagnosis is made by a doctor during an annual exam of the prostate. Men who do experience symptoms will generally notice changes in urinary and/or sexual function. These types of changes warrant a visit with your physician to determine the cause. Prostate cancer symptoms may include:
- A frequent urge to urinate, including nighttime frequency or urgency
- Difficulty initiating urination
- A weak or interrupted urine flow
- Pain or burning while urinating (from cancer pressing on the spinal cord)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty achieving/maintaining an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Pain in the hips, back or chest (indicating metastasis to the bones)
- Weakness, numbness, or swelling in legs and feet
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer you are likely wondering what your treatment options are. Below are a number of different prostate cancer treatment options you may want to review and discuss with your doctor. Finding the right treatment option for you will depend on a number of different factors specific to your personal prostate cancer diagnosis.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
How do I know what treatment option is right for me?
To determine the right treatment option for you, your doctor will consider many different factors. No two cancers are exactly alike, so it is important to customize treatment options to best suit your personal needs. Things that your doctor may consider when determining the most appropriate treatment for your specific cancer include:
- Your age
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test results
- Grade of the tumor as determined by your Gleason score
- Number of biopsy tissue samples that contain cancer cells
- Stage of the cancer
- Your symptoms
- Your general health and well-being
- Your Prolaris ScoreTM
Your doctor should be able to describe your treatment choices, the expected results, and the possible side effects of each treatment. You should work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Before treatment starts, ask your doctor about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. For example, you may want to discuss the possible effects on sexual function and urinary continence.
Before starting treatment, it is generally a good practice to get a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. You may even want to talk to several different doctors about all of the treatment options, their side effects, and the expected results.
It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In most cases, it’s not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually will not make treatment less effective, and may result in a treatment plan you feel comfortable with. To make sure this delay will not affect your health, however, you should discuss it with your doctor. There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.
After treatment you’ll typically need regular checkups. Even if the cancer seems to have been completely removed or destroyed, the disease sometimes returns because undetected cancer cells remained somewhere in the body after treatment. If this happens, you and your doctor will need to discuss additional potential treatments.