An enlarged prostate is something that affects most men at some point in their life. Having an enlarged prostate is not a major cause of concern, but should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that nothing else is going on. How do you know if an enlarged prostate has developed into a larger problem? Men often want to know how to tell if they are suffering from prostate cancer. Signs and symptoms of this disease will go a long way toward telling you where the problem lies.
As an estimated 80% of men over the age of 80 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the more you know, the better you will be able to fight it. Early detection is the best cure. Unfortunately, early symptoms are generally not present.
If you notice you need to go to the bathroom frequently at night or are experiencing difficulty when you try to start or stop the urine stream, you should see your doctor. If you have pain when urinating or notice blood, medical attention is needed. The same is true if your urine stream appears weak or interrupted. This may be a sign of cancer or something else completely.
A medical professional is the only one who can tell if you are suffering from prostate cancer or if something else is going on. Your doctor will run two tests in order to determine the cause of the symptoms. The first is the digital rectal exam. During this exam, the doctor will look for hard or lumpy areas referred to as nodules. He will also conduct a test that looks for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Although neither test will specifically determine if you are suffering from prostate cancer, they will give the doctor a better idea and he will decide if further testing is needed.
When prostate cancer is suspected, your doctor will need to conduct another test. He will take a sample of prostate cells and examine them with the use of a microscope. In order to do so, a biopsy will need to be performed by a urologist. If this sample shows cancerous cells, then and only then will your doctor be able to say you have prostate cancer and a treatment plan may be developed.
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