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Prostate Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Cancer that develops in the prostate usually grows very slowly and doesn’t tend to cause any symptoms until it’s at a more advanced stage. However, there are some types of prostate cancer that grow aggressively and can spread quickly, causing a sudden onset of symptoms.

11 common prostate cancer signs and symptoms that you should be aware of include:  

  1. Pain or burning while urinating
  2. A weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  3. Frequent or urgent need to urinate, especially at night
  4. Difficulty starting urination and/or straining to empty the bladder
  5. Blood in the urine or in semen
  6. Discomfort when sitting (caused by an enlarged prostate)
  7. Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
  8. Loss of bladder control
  9. Pain or pressure in the lower back, hips, testicles, rectum, or pelvis
  10. Recent trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED)
  11. Painful ejaculation

Most of the symptoms listed above can be the result of something other than prostate cancer. For example, urination issues could be related to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. Additionally, ED issues could be related to factors such as smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or simply getting older.

Even still, if you are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer, it’s important to have them checked out by a doctor, even if they turn out to be something other than prostate cancer.

Regular cancer screenings can help your doctor diagnose prostate cancer and direct you for treatment, if needed, with more positive outcomes. Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, you may want to consult with your doctor about screening for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that you start discussing prostate cancer screenings with your doctor around the age of 40, but when you begin being screened for prostate cancer will depend on your family history, medical history, and risk factors. Together, you can decide what would be best for you. 

Related Read: When Should Men Get a Prostate Cancer Screening?