Prostate Cancer Signs & Symptoms
Prostate cancer commonly affects men over age 60 and is often diagnosed around age 66. While men under 60 can develop the disease, it's much less common in men in this age group.
In the earlier stages of prostate cancer, symptoms are rare. That means annual physical and screening tests starting by age 60 are very important.
As prostate cancer progresses, there can be symptoms. If you notice any of the following, it's important to visit your primary care provider.
- urgency with urination
- frequent urination or more frequent urination at night
- difficulty starting a stream when urinating
- difficulty emptying the bladder; retaining urine after voiding
- a weak stream of urine or interruptions in the flow of urine
- blood in your semen
- blood in your urine
- pain in your pelvic, back, or hips that persists over time
- new erectile dysfunction symptoms
- pain with ejaculation
Other Non-Cancerous Prostate Conditions With Similar Symptoms
There are other non-cancerous conditions that can lead to an elevated PSA or similar symptoms. The doctor will help rule out or confirm prostate cancer by determining if there is another condition such as benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, prostatitis, or a urinary tract infection. The only way to determine whether your symptoms are caused by prostate cancer or another condition is to visit with your doctor, who may order lab or imaging tests to identify the underlying cause.
7 Things You Didn't Know About Prostate Cancer
Be Proactive: Don't Forget Your Prostate Cancer Screening
The most proactive approach involves scheduling an annual physical with your primary care provider, who will begin screening for prostate cancer once you reach age 50 (or earlier if you have relevant family history). These annual examinations and blood tests can improve your chances of detecting prostate cancer in its earliest stages, when treatment has the highest likelihood of success. Visit with your doctor about your medical history to determine the best physical and blood test schedule for you.