Prostate cancer often shows no symptoms in the early stages. In more advanced prostate cancer, symptoms may appear. However, they can vary from person to person. Since the prostate is close to the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which empties the bladder, most symptoms involve urination.
Symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- Inability to urinate or difficulty in starting to urinate
- Trouble emptying the bladder completely
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty trying to hold back urination
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Difficulty having or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED)
- Continual pain in the bones, including in lower back, pelvis, hips or thighs. This is typically only experienced by patients whose prostate cancer has spread to their bones (metastatic prostate cancer).
These symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer. Sometimes these symptoms may be related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous condition in which the prostate increases in size and may cause urination problems. While BPH needs to be treated, it is not prostate cancer. Other non-cancerous conditions could also cause these symptoms, so it is important to discuss them with your doctor.
Some cases of prostate cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Learn more about the risk to you and your family on our genetic testing page.
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