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Prostate cancer symptoms are caused by tumors pressing on healthy tissue. This can cause problems with urination and pain. Early prostate cancer and small tumors usually do not cause symptoms. The cancer may not cause symptoms until it is late stage.

If you experience any symptoms, do not assume it is due to cancer. Some of these symptoms can be caused by other less serious conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an infection. It is still important to discuss them with your doctor. Early detection and treatment improve outcomes for cancer.

Common Symptoms

  • Urinary obstruction, which may cause:
    • Frequent urination, especially at night
    • Slow or weak urine stream
    • Intermittent stream
    • Difficulty starting urination or inability to urinate
    • Pain with urination
    • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen

Advanced Symptoms

Later stages, when the cancer has spread to bones and other tissue, may cause:

  • Persistent back, hip, rib, or pelvic pain
  • Bone pain
  • Fractures
  • Pressure on spinal nerves can affect function below the waist, which can lead to:
    • Tingling or numbness
    • Muscle weakness
    • Pain
    • Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite, which can result in unintended weight loss

General information about prostate cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed April 12, 2017.

Prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated February 18, 2017. Accessed April 12, 2017.

Prostate cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated November 2013. Accessed April 12, 2017.

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed April 12, 2017.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: Accessed April 12, 2017.

Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 4/12/2017

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