Early stage prostate cancer usually has no warning signs. The cancer could only raise concern if the tumor happens to press on the urethra and cause changes to your urine flow. Because the cancer typically appears in a different part of the prostate, there are no symptoms in the early stage of prostate cancer. The only way to detect prostate cancer in the early stages is to get an annual PSA test, especially if you check one or more of the risk factors:
- you are a male over the age of 50
- there is prostate cancer history in your family (especially if your father or brother have had it)
- you are African American (African American men are 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than white men).
The signs of prostate cancer generally become more noticeable in the advanced stages of the disease. Prostate cancer symptoms are not usually caused by the cancer itself, but rather as a result of blockage caused by the increased growth of the prostate gland. This growth can affect a man’s sexual performance and also cause urinary tract difficulties. This is why it’s imperative to have a yearly check-up done in order to catch prostate cancer in the early stages when it can be treated more effectively.
What are the signs of prostate cancer?
If you experience any or more of the symptoms below, it’s a warning sign that you have to go see your GP. In a lot of cases, if the pain is located in your bones or pelvic area, it could be a signal that the cancer has spread.
Below are the 12 signs and symptoms of prostate cancer that should never be ignored in order to prevent the development and progression of the disease.
- A Noticeable burning while urinating or during ejaculation
- A frequent need to urinate
- Difficulty starting or stopping a stream of urine
- A weak or dribbling flow of urine
- Inability to urinate standing up
- Weak or decreased flow in your urinary stream
- Feeling a need to hold back while urinating
- Blood in urine
- Blood in semen
- Pain in the bones
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area, lower back or upper thighs
Symptoms associated with prostate cancer can also be caused by other non-cancerous diseases, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The latter is often confused as prostate cancer. Your doctor can help to diagnose your exact condition and address any of the issues listed above with treatment.
When to contact your doctor
Be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Prostate cancer symptoms in the advanced stages can also have similarities to other cancers. Some of these symptoms include:
- Chronic pain in your lower back, pelvis, and upper thigh bones. Pain in these areas is caused by the spread of prostate cancer (metastasis).
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling in the lower extremities