Doctor's Notes on Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a disease in which cells in the prostate gland, a part of the male reproductive system, start to multiply uncontrollably. Prostate cancer cells can also spread (metastasize) to other organs and tissues in the body, commonly the pelvic lymph nodes and bones. Less commonly prostate cancer cells may also metastasize to the lungs and liver.
Most men will have no symptoms of prostate cancer, especially in the early stages. When they do occur, symptoms of prostate cancer are typically due to urinary blockage at the bladder neck or the urethra and may include difficulty in starting and stopping urination, increase in frequency of urination, pain while urinating, urinary retention, and a feeling of bladder fullness after urination. When the blockage is chronic, recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) may occur. Rare symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include blood in the urine, painful ejaculation, and impotence. If prostate cancer has spread, symptoms may include fatigue, feeling unwell (malaise), and weight loss. Metastasis to the bones can cause deep bone pain.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.