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Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

There are usually no specific signs or symptoms of early prostate cancer. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) can provide the best chance of identifying prostate cancer in its earliest stages, but these tests can have drawbacks. Talk to your doctor about whether prostate cancer screening is right for you.

The following are the most common symptoms of prostate cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine

  • Urinating often (especially at night)

  • Difficulty urinating or holding back urine

  • Inability to urinate

  • Pain or burning when urinating

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis

  • Painful ejaculation

  • Trouble getting an erection 

The symptoms of prostate cancer may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

As a man gets older, his prostate may grow bigger and obstruct the flow of urine, or interfere with sexual function. An enlarged prostate gland--a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia--may require treatment with medicine or surgery to relieve symptoms. This common benign prostate condition, which is not cancer, can cause many of the same symptoms as prostate cancer.

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