Health

Prostate cancer warning as symptom of ‘silent killer’ strikes moments after urinating

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Prostate cancer kills more than 12,000 men every year in the UK, and experts have warned that a symptom when urinating could signal the devastating disease

Dribbling urine after you finish weeing is a warning sign of prostate cancer
Frequent urination is considered one of the main symptoms of prostate cancer, but health experts have urged men to pay attention after they empty their bladder.

The devastating disease kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK – that’s more than 12,000 men every year – making symptom awareness front and centre. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the earlier prostate cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is for a man to get successful treatment and remain disease-free. It adds: “The overall prognosis for prostate cancer is among the best of all cancers.”

Changes in urinary patterns can be a tell-tale sign of prostate cancer, more specifically when a patient experiences unexpected dribbling after going for a wee. Prostate Cancer UK has highlighted that “dribbling urine after you finish urinating” is a warning sign of the deadly disease.

Other common symptoms include difficulty emptying your bladder, weak flow, and a sudden urge to urinate that may result in leaking before you reach the loo. It is important to note that these symptoms could also be indicative of a benign condition, known as an enlarged prostate – where a small gland found near a man’s bladder is bigger than usual.

Waking up in the middle of the night with an urge to urinate could also signal prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate gland. Whatever the underlying cause, “it’s still a good idea to get it checked out”, the charity advises. The disease is often labelled a “silent killer” because symptoms don’t usually strike during the early stages due to the way the cancer grows.

The cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. According to the National Institute of Health, prostate cancer can cause metastasis to the bones of the hip, pelvis and spine, causing pain and discomfort. The Houston Physicians’ Hospital writes: “It is reported that over 60 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer will eventually develop bone metastases.”

The NHS has detailed the most common symptoms of prostate cancer, these include:

Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night

Needing to rush to the toilet

Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)

Straining or taking a long time while peeing

Weak flow

Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully

Blood in urine or blood in semen

Issues with getting or keeping an erection and any unintended weight loss are also red flags to watch out for. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are advised to visit a doctor as soon as possible. “There’s no way of knowing if you have prostate cancer without visiting your doctor,” says Prostate Cancer UK. “And you can’t check for prostate cancer yourself.”

Tests can be done to deduce whether it could be an enlarged prostate or prostatitis that is causing your symptoms. While there isn’t one single test for prostate cancer, when a few are combined, a diagnosis can be confirmed – or you could be given the all-clear. These tests include a urine sample, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and a digital rectal examination. If these tests suggest you could have the disease, further investigation will be carried out by a specialist.

Should it be needed, a referral should take place within two weeks from the moment you get your results from the doctor. Anybody concerned they could have prostate cancer is strongly encouraged to take that first step to talk to their doctor about their concerns.

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