Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer is the development of a growth or tumor as a result of uncontrolled or abnormal cell division in the tissues of the prostate. An estimated 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2011, and an estimated 33,000 men died of the disease. It is the second most common cancer among men in the United States, and it most often develops in men older than age 65. More on prostate cancer statistics
In the early stages of the disease, prostate cancer does not give you any hint that cancer is brewing. You may have no prostate cancer symptoms at all and cancer may be discovered as a result of a general health check up and routine prostate cancer screening.
Alternatively, you may have visited your doctor specifically to ask him or her about some unusual urinary or other prostate cancer symptoms (such as those detailed below). At this point you may be asked questions along the lines of the International Prostate Cancer Symptoms Test to determine the extent of any irregularities in urinary function.
The fact that prostate cancer symptoms may not initially show is a big reason why it’s important to have routine prostate cancer screening including a digital rectal examination (DRE) and a PSA test, so potential cancer can be detected at the early stage and long before symptoms occur. In the event that any abnormality is discovered during a DRE or as a result of a PSA test you doctor may order further tests including a prostate biopsy and ultrasound imaging of the prostate.
When cancer is confined to the prostate gland, prostate cancer symptoms are similar to BPH and prostatitis, and can include:
- Strong urge to urinate immediately
- Difficulty starting the urinary stream
- A weak urinary stream once it starts
- Dribbling after you think you’re finished
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Pain and/or burning when you urinate
- Pain in the genital and pelvic area
- Pain when you ejaculate
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Blood in your urine or semen
Other prostate cancer symptoms may include:
- unexpected weight loss
- pain in the lower back or abdomen.
Because prostate cancer symptoms are similar to BPH symptoms and prostatitis symptoms it’s easy for you to assume that you have one disease when you could actually be suffering from something more serious. This is another reason why you should get regular examinations, especially if you are experiencing symptoms. Do not self-diagnose! If you have any urinary symptoms, see your physician immediately.
Page updated June 1, 2011