Did you know that nearly 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime? It's a startling statistic that underscores the importance of understanding and recognizing the symptoms of this serious condition.
This is even more important when you consider that some of these symptoms bear a striking resemblance to those of a common urinary tract infection (UTI) in men.
In fact, at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our board-certified providers find that patients are often confused by the symptoms of the two conditions.
Keep reading as we unravel this mystery and explore prostate cancer, UTIs, and the symptoms of both.
Understanding prostate cancer
Prostate cancer originates in the prostate gland, a small organ nestled snugly between your bladder and penis. Often, the early stages are silent and exhibit no symptoms.
But as the cancer matures and advances, symptoms can emerge, some of which might echo those of a urinary tract infection. Here’s a look at some of the symptoms of prostate cancer:
- Difficulty in starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
- Erectile dysfunction
But it's not just these symptoms you need to watch out for. Let's look into UTIs and their potential overlap with prostate cancer.
Understanding UTIs in men
While urinary tract infections are often associated with women, men can also develop them. A UTI develops when bacteria make their way into the urethra, causing an infection.
The symptoms of UTIs can be surprisingly similar to those of prostate cancer and include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Feeling an urgent need to urinate, even when your bladder isn't full
- Cloudy, dark, or bloody urine
- Bad-smelling urine
- Pain or a feeling of pressure in your lower abdomen or back
- A tired or shaky feeling
While the symptoms aren’t exactly the same, there is an overlap between prostate cancer and UTIs, making it easy to see how you could mistake one for the other.
Prostate cancer vs. UTI
If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t brush them off. Reach out to us at the Urology Associates Medical Group. Philip Weintraub, MD, and our team are well-versed in differentiating between these conditions and guiding you to the right treatment.
While the conditions share some symptoms, prostate cancer's signs tend to evolve slowly. On the other hand, UTI symptoms usually come on abruptly and might be accompanied by fever or generalized malaise.
A specialist's insight is the best way to differentiate between these two conditions. Simple urine tests can detect UTIs. In the case of prostate cancer, the path to diagnosis could encompass blood tests, digital rectal exams, or even biopsies.
Seeking early medical intervention can make all the difference. If you’re concerned about the symptoms of a UTI or prostate cancer, schedule a consultation at our Burbank, California, office today.