PROSTATE cancer develops at the base of the bladder, surrounding the urethra – the tube that carries urine and semen. Do you find it difficult to sleep throughout the night? Here’s a sign linked to the deadly disease.
Do you wake up a few times throughout the night to use the toilet? If so, it could be indicative of prostate cancer. Here’s how.
The prostate gland is exclusive to men – so anybody born a male can be affected. Mostly common in older men, aged 75 and older, Cancer Research UK explained more about the condition.
The charity explained that symptoms of prostate cancer appear when the tumour presses on the urethra.
This can lead to a person getting up during the night to empty their bladder – known as nocturia.
The Sleep Foundation noted how nocturia can cause “fragmented sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and an elevated risk of dangerous falls”.
Nocturia is said to be “a symptom of other conditions”, such as prostate cancer. If you need to get out of bed more than once during the night, it’s fair to say you suffer.
It’s thought the symptom can affect “up to 80 percent of elderly people”, which can be explained by Cancer Research UK.The charity suggested nocturia could be due to “an enlargement of the prostate gland”.
It’s perfectly natural for the prostate gland to enlarge as a man ages. Other symptoms of an enlarged prostate are also the same warning signs of prostate cancer.
These include passing urine more often, urgency, and blood or semen in the urine.
Another clue is “difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying the bladder completely, and straining when starting to empty the bladder”.
How can one tell if the symptoms are due to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer? The best route is to first discuss your symptoms with your GP; from there, various tests may be done.
For instance, testing for prostate cancer can include a digital rectal examination of the prostate. A digital rectal examination involves the GP feeling for lumpy or hard areas in that area.
Other tests may involve a PSA blood test, a prostate biopsy and an mpMRI scan. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) test measures how much of this protein you have circulating in your bloodstream.
High levels indicate cancer, but a diagnosis would not be made from this test alone. An mpMRI scan (multiparametric MRI) produces a detailed scan of the prostate to highlight any tumour.
This information then helps the doctor to decide whether a biopsy is needed. Should a biopsy be the best course of action, rest assured it’ll be done under local or general anaesthetic.