Prostate cancer and lower urinary tract symptoms in men
Unlike women, men are not usually affected by urinary tract infections. Thus, senior men who start to complain about lower urinary tract symptoms should be screened for prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and other causes. The most common causes of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men are prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, kidney stones, and urinary bladder ailments (neurogenic bladder and overactive bladder).
There are three types of lower urinary tract symptoms:
- Voiding LUTS: They include urinary intermittency, slow urinary stream, terminal dribble, and straining. They are all impairments in the normal circulation of urine due to obstruction of the urinary tract.
- Storage LUTS: These symptoms include higher urinary frequency, incontinence, nocturia, and feeling a sudden urge to urinate. They are described as irritative symptoms, usually associated with a problem in the urinary bladder to store urine appropriately.
- Post-micturition LUTS: They include a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder after the patient has finished urinating and post-micturition dribble.
You can have a comprehensive list of symptoms and the reasons why each one of them appears in a given patient in our article about warning signs of prostate cancer.
Keep in mind that, if you have a slow urinary stream, incontinence, sudden urgency to urinate, higher frequency of urination, and other symptoms, it doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer. However, both benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer should be ruled out, especially in older adults and patients with risk factors.
It is possible to evaluate the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms in men using the international prostate symptom score, which is recommended by the British Urological Association and the American Urological Association to examine these patients.