Monitoring the health or your prostate and keeping an eye out for unusual symptoms can help you catch the disease early. This includes:
- Understanding the warning signs and symptoms of prostate cancer
- Getting regular prostate screening exams
- Knowing what to do if you’re experiencing prostate cancer symptoms
Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center encourages patients and the community to be proactive in early detection of prostate cancer through screenings and education.
Most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms or signs in its early stages. As the disease becomes more advanced, prostate cancer signs may include:
- A slow or weak urine stream
- Being unable to urinate or having difficulty in starting to urinate
- Needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Difficulty having an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED)
If prostate cancer has spread, symptoms may include:
- Pain in the hips, spine or ribs
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control as cancer presses on the spinal cord
Having any of these signs or symptoms doesn't mean you have prostate cancer. In fact, infections and other non-cancerous conditions may cause similar symptoms.
For example, having trouble urinating could be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Also, erectile dysfunction could have more to do with other factors — such as age, diabetes, smoking or cardiovascular disease.
However, do call your doctor right away if you have symptoms. It’s important to find out what is causing these changes. If you do have prostate cancer, early detection can make treatment easier and more successful.