A man with prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. For men who do have symptoms, the common symptoms include:
1. Urinary problems
- Not being able to pass urine
- Having a hard time starting or stopping the urine flow
- Needing to urinate often, especially at night
- Weak flow of urine
- Urine flow that starts and stops
- Pain or burning during urination
2. Difficulty having an erection
3. Painful ejaculation
4. Blood in the urine or semen
5. Frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an infection, or another health problem may cause them. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated.
Prostate cancer can sit quietly for years. That means most men with the disease have no obvious symptoms. When symptoms finally appear, they may be a lot like the symptoms of BPH, which stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Benign means "not cancer," and hyperplasia means too much growth. The result is that the prostate becomes enlarged. It is not cancer. The prostate grows larger and squeezes the urethra. This prevents the normal flow of urine.
BPH is a very common problem. In the United States, most men over the age of 50 have symptoms of BPH. Benign growths are not as harmful as malignant growths. However, for some men, the symptoms may be severe enough to need treatment.
Benign Growth vs. Malignant Growths
Benign growths (such as BPH):
- Are rarely a threat to life
- Can be removed and probably won’t grow back
- Don’t invade the tissues around them
- Don’t spread to other parts of the body
- May be a threat to life
- Often can be removed, but sometimes grow back
- Can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs
- Can spread to other parts of the body
If you experience one or more of these prostate cancer symptoms, it would be best to contact your physician for an appointment. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Read Prostate Cancer Testing and Diagnosis to learn more about the screening process.
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Source: National Cancer Institute