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Stay up-to-date on the latest news about prostate cancer. Join our distribution list to receive periodic email updates and our monthly e-newsletter.

What Are the Symptoms?

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

During the early stages of prostate cancer, there are no symptoms. That’s why screenings and yearly check-ups are critically important in catching cancer early, before it spreads outside the prostate. In other words, you may not have any symptoms at all and cancer may be detected as a result of a general health check-up where a PSA test and physical exam of the prostate is given.

SymptonsMost prostate cancer is found as a result of prostate cancer screening tests, most commonly a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). To learn more about early detection visit our Detection and Diagnosis section.

In our recent survey, we asked men how they learned they had prostate cancer. Only 5.24% learned they had prostate cancer because of urinary or erectile symptoms. The overwhelming majority (94%) learned about their diagnosis from early detection through a screening test. Click here to learn more about our survey.

Many prostate cancer symptoms are very similar to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), prostatitis, erectile dysfunction, or overactive bladder. These include:

  • Strong urge to urinate immediately
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Pain and/or burning when urinating
  • Difficulty starting the urinary stream
  • A weak urinary stream once it starts
  • Dribbling after you’re finished
  • Pain in the genital and pelvic area
  • Pain when ejaculating
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Frequent urinary tract infections

Other more serious prostate cancer symptoms may include:

  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvic area
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue

It’s easy to mistake prostate cancer for BPH, prostatitis, or overactive bladder. It’s important to have annual check-ups, especially if you are experiencing symptoms outlined above.