Warning Signs Men Shouldn’t Ignore As Prostate Cancer Can Spread To Legs.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer that occurs in men. Worldwide, an estimated 1.4 million people were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020, making it the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.
Although 60% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged 65 or older, younger men can also develop this disease. Those who have a family history of prostate cancer or people who are obese have a higher risk of prostate cancer compared to people who have none of these risk factors.
The most concerning factor of prostate cancer is that it can spread outside the prostate, leading to symptoms that can be different from the common urinary symptoms.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, which is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that helps make semen.
Usually, cancer starts when cells in the body start growing abnormally. That said, prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control.
While there is no clear answer to what causes prostate cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate develop changes in their DNA. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue, explains the health body.
Can prostate cancer spread to other parts of the body?
Yes! Unfortunately, prostate cancer can spread to any part of the body. This is called advanced prostate cancer, meaning that cancer that began in the prostate gland has now spread to another part of the body.
This could lead to bone pain, extreme fatigue, a general feeling of being unwell, and unexplained weight loss. In addition, some people may experience symptoms specific to the area where cancer has spread.
According to Karthik Giridhar, M.D and an expert at the Mayo Clinic,
“In theory, prostate cancer cells can spread anywhere in the body. In practice, though, prostate cancer metastasis occurs most often in the lymph nodes and the bones.”
This occurs when cells break away from the tumor in the prostate, explains the doctor.
One warning sign to watch out for in your leg
Advanced prostate cancer symptoms may vary depending on the location targeted by the spread.
But one sign of a spreading tumor can be spotted in the leg, which is swelling. The swelling takes place because the prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, according to Cancer Research UK.
Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped clusters of cells that contain a combination of different types of immune system cells that combat infections. These are present all over the body including the groin area.
That said, if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, close to the prostate, it could lead to swelling in the legs.
Why does it cause swelling? Signs to watch out for
Wondering how cancer that spreads to the leg causes swelling?
Cancer Research UK explains, “Cancer cells can stop lymph fluid from draining away.”
“This might lead to swelling in the legs due to fluid build-up in that area. The swelling is called lymphoedema,” the health charity explains further.
The swelling can be spotted in various ways. From tighter clothes, shoes, and jewelry to heavier, tighter, and stiffer legs, watch out for these signs.
In addition, “Swelling may be soft and easy to push in with your fingers, leaving a dent (called pitting oedema). The swelling may also be non-pitting,” notes Cancer Research UK.
Other prostate cancer signs men may overlook
Prostate cancer usually causes urinary symptoms, which include needing to pee more frequently, often during the night, difficulty in starting to pee, straining while peeing, or a weak flow. Additionally, one may also experience symptoms like difficulty in ejaculating, feeling bladder pressure, and blood in the urine or in semen.
What should you do?
The charity advises you to “contact your doctor” in case you are worried about any of the symptoms that indicate cancer.
Prostate cancer is not just limited to the localized area or to the lymph nodes. It can also spread to the bones, bowels, liver, and lungs.
But also remember that swelling in the legs does not necessarily mean prostate cancer. There are several other health conditions that may cause leg swelling and pain.
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Who is at risk?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all men are at risk of prostate cancer. However, age is the most common risk factor. The older the man is, the greater his chance of contracting the disease. Furthermore, unhealthy weight, unhealthy lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking along with poor food choices may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Source | TimesofIndia
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