Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Tumors pressing on nearby structures can cause symptoms. These lead to problems with how they work. You may have trouble passing urine or have pain. In most cases, early prostate cancer doesn’t cause symptoms. Cancer may not be noticed until it's in later stages.

If you have problems, don't think it's because of cancer. Other, less serious health problems may be causing them such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). But, you still need to talk about them with your doctor. Finding and treating the cause early will make your chances for a cure better.

Common Symptoms

  • Blocks in the urinary tract, which can cause:
    • Passing urine often, mainly at night
    • Slow or weak stream
    • Stream that stops and starts
    • Problems getting the stream started
    • You can't pass urine
    • Pain when passing urine
    • Feeling like the bladder didn't fully drain out
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen

Advanced Symptoms

As cancer spreads, it may cause other problems such as:

  • Lasting back, hip, rib, or pelvic pain
  • Bone pain
  • Broken bones
  • Pressure on spinal nerves can cause problems below the waist such as:
    • Tingling or numbness
    • Weak muscles
    • Pain
    • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of hunger, which can result in weight loss


General information about prostate cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated October 12, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated October 16, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Prostate cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated October 2017. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed October 29, 2018.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: Accessed October 29, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 10/29/2018

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