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The male prostate, a gland located near the large intestine, colon, urethra and urinary bladder, is part of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer often develops within the glandular tissue of the prostate and often forms a cancerous tumor 1. If undetected, the cancer continues to grow and begins to spread to neighboring tissues and organs, causing a number of side effects.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
A common symptom that prostate cancer is spreading is the development of urinary symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1. Prostate cancer growth near the bladder can place excess strain on the bladder and urethra, causing patients to feel the frequent or constant need to urinate 1. As the prostate cancer spreads deeper into the urethra and bladder, cancer cells may begin to disrupt the normal flow of urine out of the body 1. Patients may notice dribbling during urination and feel that they are unable to empty their bladder completely. Additionally, tissue damage due to cancer growth in the urinary tract can lead to blood in the urine. Men experiencing urinary difficulties should consult with a physician to address the possibility of prostate cancer 1.
Bowel Pain and Obstructions
Diseases That Copy a Urinary Tract Infection
As prostate cancer spreads away from the prostate gland, men with prostate cancer may develop cancer growth in the bowel and colon 1. Prostate cancer cells can grow in the lining of the color, leading to the formation of polyps--abnormal growths in towards the center of the colon 1. These growths can cause pain during bowel movements, according to Medline Plus, as the contents of the bowel place additional pressure on surrounding nerves. Advanced spreading of prostate cancer can eventually obstruct the movement of digested food through the bowel, leading to bowel problems and obstructions 1. Men with bowel obstructions due to prostate cancer experience excruciating pain and require immediate medical attention 1.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Common sites affected by the spreading of prostate cancer are the lymph nodes within the pelvis and abdomen 1. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped tissues that house lymphcytes--white blood cells that make up a part of the immune system. These nodes are located throughout the body, with several lymph nodes around the prostate gland. During the spreading of prostate cancer, cancer cells can migrate into and colonize the lymph nodes, leading to lymph node swelling and matting 1. As a result, men with invasive prostate cancer may experience chronic pelvic or abdominal pain as the swollen lymph nodes press against nerves within the pelvis and abdomen 1. Patients with unexplained persistent pain should seek medical attention.
Diseases That Copy a Urinary Tract Infection
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- Medline Plus: Prostate Cancer
- US Preventive Services Task Force, Grossman DC, Curry SJ, et al. Screening for Prostate Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement JAMA. 2018;319:1901-1913. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.3710
- Informed Health. How does the prostate work? Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated August 23, 2016.
- National Cancer Institute. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Updated October 4, 2017.
- National Institute on Aging. Prostate problems. National Institutes of Health. Updated July 01, 2016.
- Elkahwaji JE. The role of inflammatory mediators in the development of prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Res Rep Urol. 2012;5:1-10. Published 2012 Dec 31. doi:10.2147/RRU.S23386
- Burns JA, Weiner AB, Catalona WJ, et al. Inflammatory bowel disease and the risk of prostate cancer. Eur Urol. 2019;75:846-852. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2018.11.039
- Ge Y, Shi Q, Yao W, Cheng Y, Ma G. The association between inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2020;23:53-58. doi:10.1038/s41391-019-0177-7
- Teerlink CC, Thibodeau SN, McDonnell SK, et al. Association analysis of 9,560 prostate cancer cases from the International Consortium of Prostate Cancer Genetics confirms the role of reported prostate cancer associated SNPs for familial disease. Hum Genet. 2014;133:347-356. doi:10.1007/s00439-013-1384-2
- Kani HT, Shen B. Male issues of the ileal pouch. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015;21(3):716-722. doi:10.1097/MIB.0000000000000226
- Jung YS, Han M, Park S, Kim WH, Cheon JH. Cancer risk in the early stages of inflammatory bowel disease in Korean patients: A nationwide population-based study. J Crohns Colitis. 2017;11:954-962. doi:10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjx040
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist.