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Prostate Cancer: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

In its early stages, prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. Early prostate cancer may be found through a screening test. As with any cancer, the earlier it’s diagnosed and treated, the better your outcomes.

As prostate cancer grows and progresses, some people have symptoms. Others don’t. Some symptoms may be a sign that the cancer has spread outside the prostate. If that happens, you may need more extensive treatment.

Possible symptoms include:

  • A frequent need to urinate, especially at night

  • Trouble starting to urinate or straining

  • Weak or interrupted urine flow

  • Trouble fully emptying the bladder

  • Not being able to urinate at all

  • Accidental urination (incontinence)

  • Unable to control bowels

  • Feeling a painful or burning sensation when you urinate

  • Blood in your urine or semen

  • Pain or stiffness in your lower back (spine), hips, ribs, upper thighs, and other bones

  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection

  • Weakness or numbness in legs or feet

  • Unexplained weight loss

When to see your healthcare provider

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms doesn’t automatically mean you have prostate cancer, or that existing prostate cancer is getting worse. Other health conditions may cause the same symptoms. These conditions include an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

That being said, none of these symptoms should be taken lightly. So if you do notice one or more of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and tell them about these changes as soon as you can. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have cancer.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Susan K. Dempsey-Walls APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.