Prostate cancer symptoms – What are they?

A big challenge to finding prostate cancer symptoms early is that most men do not have any physical problems or discomfort.

As prostate cancer advances, however, some men may experience the need to urinate more often, or may find their ability to urinate is slowed or weakened.  These problems can also be caused by noncancerous conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Other symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

  • Painful irritation: but this is typically due to other causes, such as infection
  • Blood in the urine or sexual problems: such as difficulty getting an erection, which may occur as prostate cancer advances
  • Blood in semen: is also sometimes associated with prostate cancer, but can be caused by other conditions such as prostatitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland
  • Pain in the back, hips, and ribs: which may be other signs of advanced cancer

Other prostate cancer symptoms

Urinary problems that are related to prostate cancer may appear more suddenly (such as in a few months rather than years).

Your loved one should talk to his doctor about any urinary problems or changes, even if he feels they are not much of a bother.

What can men do?

Since there are few visible symptoms, one way to help detect cancer early is through simple screening tests.

Read the articles on prostate-specific antigen and the prostate exam to learn more.

Next: Prostate-specific antigen

Disease 101
What is prostate cancer?
What are the causes?
Digital rectal exam
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The American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. Accessed March 17, 2015.

American Urological Association. The Management of Localized Prostate Cancer. Accessed September 1, 2008.

Bostwick DG, Crawford DE, Higano CS, Roach M, eds. American Cancer Society’s Complete Guide to Prostate Cancer. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society Health Promotions; 2005.

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