What are Prostate Cancer Symptoms?
In early stages, prostate cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms. Medical organizations recommend that men in their 50s schedule regular prostate cancer screenings. More advanced stages of prostate cancer often are accompanied with symptoms. Once a malignant tumor causes the prostate gland to swell, or if the cancer spreads beyond the prostate, prostate cancer may cause the following symptoms:
- A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Difficulty starting or stopping a stream of urine
- A weak or interrupted urinary stream
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling in legs
- Weakness in legs and/or difficulty walking, especially if accompanied by constipation
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Leaking of urine when laughing or coughing
- Inability to urinate standing up
- Dull, incessant deep pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs, or upper thighs; pain in the bones of those areas
- Loss of weight and appetite, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
- Swelling of the lower extremities
- Weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs, often associated with constipation
- A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen (These are not symptoms of the cancer; it is caused by the blockage from the cancer growth within the prostate.)
If you have any difficulty urinating or find that urination is painful or otherwise abnormal, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to examine your prostate gland. Your doctor can determine if your prostate is enlarged, inflamed or even cancerous.
If you experience chronic pain in your lower back, pelvis, upper thighbones, or other bones, visit a doctor immediately. If you ever experience ongoing pain without explanation, it should always be followed with medical attention. Although pains in the above areas do have many causes, one can be from the spread of advanced prostate cancer.
If you feel any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible to discuss any of these signs that may worry you.
These topics are covered in great detail on many websites. This Decision Aide does not try to provide comprehensive information on these topics at this time. For additional discussion, we suggest the following sources:
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- National Cancer Institute
- American Cancer Society
- American Urological Association
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
Page updated 5/3/13