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What Are the Symptoms?

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

During the early stages of prostate cancer, there are usually no symptoms. That’s why screenings and yearly check-ups are important in catching cancer early, before it spreads outside the prostate.

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 a 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.

In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms which are similar to other prostate or urinary issues. These may 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
  • Difficulty having an erection
  • 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 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), prostatitis, or overactive bladder. It’s important to have annual check-ups, especially if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.