Prostate cancer: symptoms and signs

What are symptoms of prostate cancer? By what signs do I recognize prostate cancer? Malignant tumors of the prostate develop in the outer gland areas in two-thirds of the cases. Since the urethra that runs inside is concentrated at a late stage, prostate cancer often only becomes noticeable after a relatively long time. So even without a sign can already be a prostate cancer or a precursor.

Prostate cancer: symptoms and signs

However, if you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should definitely see a doctor. Only this one can distinguish between a malignant tumor and a benign prostate enlargement with similar symptoms.

  • Attenuated or interrupted urinary stream, decreased urine output
  • Heavier, but more difficult urination, multiple urination in the night
  • Pain when urinating
  • Erectile dysfunction, erection pain, decreased ejaculation
  • Pain in the prostate
  • Rarely: blood in the urine or blood in the semen
  • Metastases: Bone pain, for example, in the lower back or pelvis

Diagnosing prostate cancer

After collecting the medical history and the general physical examinations, the doctor will first scan the prostate with the finger through the rectum (rectal palpation). It detects signs of prostate cancer such as enlargement, hardening and painful changes in the prostate gland. Restricting, one must say that not all tumors can be felt, especially if they are still small or grow towards the ventral side.

This can be supplemented by ultrasound examination (transrectal sonography). If prostate cancer is suspected, ultrasound can be used to extract tissue from various areas of the prostate (ultrasound-guided transrectal punch biopsy) and scan it under the microscope for cancer cells.

If the diagnosis of prostate cancer is confirmed, an ultrasound examination of the abdomen and kidneys, X-ray examination of the chest and skeletal scintigraphy, possibly also computed tomography (CT) for metastases, especially in the kidneys and urinary tract, lung and bone searched and thus a staging for prostate cancer made,

Follow-up of prostate cancer by PSA

Blood tests also play an important role in prostate cancer diagnostics. In particular, the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is significant. This protein belongs to the tumor markers. Tumor markers are substances that are more or less specifically elevated in certain cancers.

Whether the PSA value is suitable for diagnosing prostate cancer is controversial. Although a high value for a prostate cancer speaks, but it can also have other causes, such as inflammation. However, the significance of PSA for the follow-up of prostate cancer is undisputed: if therapy is successful, the concentration in the blood drops; If she gets back up, that speaks for a relapse.

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