September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. One of the most common cancers in men, prostate cancer affects the prostate gland. Only men can get prostate cancer.
Initially, prostate cancer usually remains confined to the gland itself and spreads slowly. This means that for some men, prostate cancer may be something that you continue to monitor with your doctor but which might not actually require much or any treatment. But in other cases, prostate cancer can be more aggressive and spread more rapidly. Early detection is key — if prostate cancer is identified early, while it’s still confined to the gland itself, treatments are much more likely to be successful.
While prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms in its earlier stages, more advanced cancer may cause symptoms like trouble urinating; blood in the urine or semen; a weaker stream or urine; erectile dysfuction; or pain in the lower back, hips, thighs, pelvis, or bones.
Many men are hesitant to get a prostate exam, but it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any symptoms that concern you. Your doctor can help you make the best decisions for you regarding prostate cancer screenings and treatments.