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Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up. Many times, men will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

These symptoms include:

• A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

• Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

• Weak or interrupted flow of urine

• Painful or burning urination

• Difficulty in having an erection

• Painful ejaculation

• Blood in urine or semen

• Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above. These symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatits.

BPH is also known as enlargement of the prostate.  The risk of BPH increases every year after age 40: BPH is present in 20% of men in their fifties, 60% of men in their sixties, and 70% of men by age 70. Prostatitis is a painful condition. It is an inflamed, swollen, and tender prostate that can be caused by a bacterial infection or other factors. Because of these similar symptoms, men must undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause.

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and I am participating in No Shave November. Are you? My scruffy look is to help others become aware. I think this facial hair is kind of growing on me. (Pun is sort of intended.) Does this beard make me look more distinguished?