Saturday, 12 January 2013

Symptoms and Complications of Prostate Cancer

Prostate tumours are usually small and cause no symptoms. That's why most of them are only discovered during blood screening tests or surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia, which often does cause noticeable symptoms.
Large, advanced tumours can press on other organs such as the bladder, causing incontinence (reduced bladder control) or making urination difficult or painful. Problems related to urination may occur as a result of prostate cancer because the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body) passes directly through the prostate gland. These tumours may also interfere with the nerves responsible for erection of the penis, which leads to erectile dysfunction.
Advanced tumours can also cause:
  • pain by pressing on the spine or pelvis
  • burning or pain when urinating
  • frequent urination
  • pain when ejaculating
  • blood to appear in the urine or semen
  • pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
If cells from a tumour break off and move into the bloodstream, they can settle in distant parts of the body and start dividing to form new tumours. This process of migration is called metastasis, and the new tumours are called metastases. You may suffer pain in distant parts of the body if the cancer has metastasized.
As well as travelling by blood, loose cancerous cells can be carried through the lymphatic system, which is a network of tubes that carry lymph (a clear liquid containing waste products and immune cells). From there, it can spread to various lymph nodes and other organs. The lymphatic system is the main carrier of metastases in prostate cancer. Secondary tumours can grow almost anywhere in the body, such as the lungs, brain, lymph nodes, however, it is most likely to spread to the bone

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