Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the gland cells of the prostate, found only in men. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. In fact, symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra) and when this occurs erectile dysfunction may ensue.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, could be a warning sign of advanced prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
The American Cancer Society said: “More advanced prostate cancers sometimes cause symptoms such as problems urinating, blood in the urine or semen, and trouble getting an erection.”
Severe prostatitis can cause erectile dysfunction directly. In milder forms, the condition can produce painful ejaculation, which can interfere with sexual pleasure and may lead to erectile dysfunction.
Health experts now know that 70 per cent of erectile dysfunctions can be traced to a physical condition that restricts blood flow, hampers nerve functioning, or both.
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A sudden onset of erectile dysfunction may be a sign that a man has prostate cancer, so your doctor will likely order a prostate-specifics antigen (PSA) test and do a digital rectal exam during the diagnostic workup to assess this possibility,” added Harvard Health Medical School.
If you are worried about erectile dysfunction, your GP may prescribe antibiotics to treat the problem, but it could take several weeks for it to clear and for normal erections to return.
The NHS said: “Men are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer, as results can be unreliable. Men over 50 can ask for a PSA test from their GP.
“This is because the PSA blood test is not specific to prostate cancer. Your PSA level can also be raised by other, non-cancerous conditions.
“Raised PSA levels also can’t tell a doctor whether a man has life-threatening prostate cancer or not.”
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Your erectile dysfunction, which is also known as impotence, would be relatively new, according to medical website Cancer.Net.
It may be caused by a tumour interfering with your nerves or blood supply.
You should consider speaking to a doctor if your erection problems keep happening.
It’s unlikely to be caused by prostate cancer, but it’s still worth getting checked out.
“Some prostate cancers grow very slowly and may not cause symptoms or problems for years or ever,” it said.
“Even when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it often can be managed for a long time, allowing men even with advanced prostate cancer to live with good health and quality of life for many years.
“The symptoms and signs of prostate cancer may include frequent urination, blood in the urine, [and] new onset of erectile dysfunction.
“If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor.”
According to Cancer Research UK, other symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Passing urine more often
- Getting up during the night to empty your bladder (nocturia)
- Difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying your Bladder completely and straining when starting to empty your bladder
- Blood or semen in your urine