Prostate cancer, lead poisoning and walking pneumonia: 3 health questions Canadians were asking this week

After King Charles checked into treatment for an enlarged prostate, Canadians went online in search of more information on prostate health.

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What were Canadians searching for online this week? (Image via Getty Images) Prostate cancer
What were Canadians searching for online this week? Prostate cancer topped the list. (Image via Getty Images)

If you're someone who loves to take a trip down the rabbit hole of looking up signs and symptoms of various ailments, you're not alone.

Canadians love to turn the internet to answer their health questions, especially when it comes to topical illnesses like prostate health.

Earlier this week, King Charles was discharged from hospital for treatment for an enlarged prostate. Although Buckingham Palace officials have stated that the King's illness is non-cancerous, Canadian web searches for the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer increased by 550 per cent.

What are the signs of prostate cancer?

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, approximately 24,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra; it produces fluid that along with sperm makes up semen. Approximately 95 per cent of all prostate cancers are adenocarcinoma, which begins in the gland cells.

Unlike other forms of cancer, prostate cancers are usually slow growing; cells can begin changing up to 30 years before tumours become large enough to cause symptoms. By the time symptoms appear the cancer may have spread.

What are the signs of prostate cancer?  (Image via Getty Images)
Kind Charles was discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate. (Image via Getty Images)

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include painful urination, blood in the urine or semen, painful ejaculation, frequent urge to urinate (especially at night), weakened stream of urine and pain in the hips, pelvis or back. Weight loss, kidney problems and bone pain could also be signs that cancer has spread or advanced.

Although prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men, there are prostate conditions that are not cancerous — but could be uncomfortable. King Charles was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, which can cause similar symptoms to prostate cancer, such as difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, frequent urination at night and weakened urine stream.

Regular prostate screenings (usually every two to three years) can also help detect cancer before symptoms appear. Visit your doctor if you experience any symptoms or have concerns about prostate health.

What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning has made headlines recently after people on social media began raising concerns over the fact that Stanley cups use lead in their manufacturing process. While Stanley does disclose on its website that it uses "some lead" in the vacuum insulation to help maintain drink temperature, it also states that a durable stainless steel layer makes the lead "inaccessible to consumers."

Despite the assurance from Stanley and experts that there is no risk to the public (given that the cup stays intact), Canadian web searches for lead poisoning increased by 250 per cent this week.

Stanley discloses its use of lead during manufacturing on its website. (Image via Getty Images)
Stanley discloses its use of lead during manufacturing on its website. (Image via Getty Images)

Lead poisoning occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of the metal over a prolonged period of time. Lead can be present in lead-based paint, contaminated air, dust, and drinking water from buildings with lead pipes.

Symptoms of lead poisoning vary depending on your age. Children are at an increased risk of lead poisoning which can impact their physical and mental development. According to the Mayo Clinic, children with lead poisoning may experience vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain, seizures, fatigue, learning difficulties and developmental delays. For adults, symptoms of lead poisoning may include high blood pressure, abdominal pain, mood disorders, poor memory and concentration, headaches, muscle pain, reduced sperm count or miscarriage and premature birth.

What are the signs of walking pneumonia?

It seems as though everyone is struggling with cold and flu these days. However, Canadians are particularly worried about the possibility of a cold turning into something more severe; web searches for the signs and symptoms of walking pneumonia were up 170 per cent.

Walking pneumonia is a non-medical term that refers to a mild case of pneumonia. (Image via Getty Images)
Walking pneumonia is a non-medical term that refers to a mild case of pneumonia. (Image via Getty Images)

"Walking pneumonia" is a non-medical term that refers to a mild case of pneumonia. According to the American Lung Association, the more appropriate term would be atypical pneumonia, which is caused by molds, viruses and bacteria. Even though it's considered a milder than traditional cases of pneumonia, symptoms can include fever, cough, chest pain, head ache and chills.

Symptoms of walking pneumonia generally appear two to three weeks after infection. Since many people typically don't feel ill enough to go to their doctor they don't take antibiotics for walking pneumonia. Although people generally feel better within three to five days, coughs can linger for week. Walking pneumonia is contagious and can develop into a more severe form of pneumonia which can be particularly difficult for people with asthma.

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