The prostate, a small gland shaped like a walnut, is only found in men and is responsible for producing seminal fluid that transports and nourishes sperm. Prostate cancer, one of the most common types of cancer found in men, starts slowly and grows in the prostate gland. Initially, prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland and requires little treatment, though more aggressive forms can spread quickly and require harsher treatment. Due to the prevalence of prostate cancer, it is crucial for everyone to understand the basics of this disease.
The reason why symptoms of prostate cancer are serious is that they do not present until the tumor in the prostate begins to put pressure on surrounding structures. Symptoms that affect a patient's urinary function that are indicative of prostate cancer include the urge to urinate more frequently than usual, urgent feelings of needing to urinate, unusual need to urinate at night, interrupted or weak flow of urine, pain or burning during urination, and blood in the urine. Other symptoms known to indicate prostate cancer include problems with obtaining and maintaining an erection, pain during ejaculation, decreased amount of ejaculate, blood in the semen, feelings of pain or pressure in the rectum, and stiffness or pain in the pelvis, lower back, thighs, or hips. It is important to note while these symptoms are indicative of prostate cancer, many other benign conditions can cause them as well.