A man places a giant bandage, decorated with a drawing of a health supplement bottle, over a growing crack in the wall in an attempt to mask the problem.

Masking Prostate Cancer Symptoms

I can hardly turn on my computer, tablet, or cell phone these days without seeing an ad that promises to help with male issues. There are offering to suggest I will pee better after taking this or that all-natural pill. The claims suggest that in just days or a few short weeks I will be able to enjoy a new confidence that only a strong stream can provide. So many solutions are offered it is almost impossible to decide.

Can I trust these lofty promises?

Then there are the commercials that boast of the lost secrets from far away places that will add new vitality to my sexual abilities. If I am interested in technology, I can visit a confidential clinic where regardless of my condition I will, without surgery or pills, see the benefits of shock waves that will allow me to perform like I was in my 20’s. In the process, I may amaze my partner. And let us not forget the performance drugs that can be ordered without a doctor’s prescription or need to visit a medical office.

Ignoring the early warning signs

So where am I going with this? While my prostate cancer was officially diagnosed in 2013, there were some early indications that I should have taken more seriously. I found myself getting up 2 or 3 times at night and noted that my urine flow was no longer like an open fire hydrant of earlier years.

A friend of mine was a distributor for a health supplement company and offered that he had a product that helped men of a certain age pee better. It sounded interesting and certainly, there was no need to visit a doctor. Not only he had used the product, but he was also pleased with the outcome or should I say his outflow. The new solution appeared to work...for a while. No problem if it failed. It was simply the time for the PLUS version. Sadly, the new version simply cost more and provided no additional relief.

And then my PSA began to rise

All this experimenting goes on for several years as I continue with over the counter solutions. At an annual physical my physician takes note of my journey when I mention taking supplements. Since my PSA is in the normal range (whatever that means) and the digital exam does not reveal any issues, he prescribes a drug that is designed to help shrink the prostate. All of this sounded good until I learn it can take months for the drug to have an effect.

At about the same time, my PSA begins to rise. Within a year I am finally diagnosed by a urologist with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. What would have happened had I not listened to the many advertising pitches? What if I had decided to visit a urologist early on vs a general practitioner? What if I had not masked my symptoms for years with over the counter supplements? While I cannot change the past, I now live in the present with the reality of my prostate cancer.

Always talk to your doctor

Today rather than avoiding "unnecessary" MD offices, I understand the true value of speaking up and engaging medical professionals when it comes to my personal health.

Before you decide on over the counter solutions, trips to healing centers that can cure your advancing cancer or trying out that new breakthrough noninvasive medical therapy that uses low-intensity shockwave therapy to enhance your sexual performance...just know that in the end the only effective shocks you may receive could be an empty wallet and just perhaps...a hidden case of advancing prostate cancer.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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