September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and treatment options for prostate cancer so you can detect and treat it as early as possible.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-sized structure that is part of the man’s reproductive system. Though there are some cases of prostate cancer that are more aggressive, prostate cancer usually grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer in its early stages might not cause noticeable symptoms. As it becomes more advanced, it may cause symptoms including:
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Blood in both semen and urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain in lower back
- Pain in hips or thighs
- Light stream of urine
Treating Prostate Cancer
Treatment options for prostate cancer depend greatly on the stage the cancer is at. The stages of prostate cancer include:
- Stage I – During this stage, the cancer isn’t considered aggressive. During this stage, your physician may decide that treatment isn’t necessary and may choose to simply monitor the cancer.
- Stage II – Cancer at this stage may still be considered aggressive. It may be larger and may involve both sides of the prostate gland.
- Stage III – The cancer has spread from the prostate gland to other nearby tissues.
- Stage IV – During stage IV, the cancer has spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder or lymph nodes.
Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, your physician may choose radiation therapy, hormone therapy, surgery to remove the prostate, chemotherapy or immunotherapy.