Many men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer often have no symptoms at all. In addition, a common noncancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate, can cause many of the symptoms described below. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out of you should have a prostate exam or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. 

Urinary and Excretory Symptoms

Because the prostate gland wraps around the urethra and is very close to the rectum, abnormalities in its shape and size can interfere with urinary and excretory function. Symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty stopping or starting urine flow
  • Urine flow that is weak or that starts and stops
  • Needing to urinate urgently and/or often, especially at night
  • Urine leakage ( incontinence)
  • Pain or burning during urination or bowel movements
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Back pain
  • Blood in urine

Sexual Symptoms

The prostate is part of the reproductive system and is located very close to nerves and other structures involved with sexual function, so prostate problems, including prostate cancer, can affect sexual function. Sexual symptoms include:

  • Problems achieving erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in semen

Other Symptoms

Advanced prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, especially the bones. These symptoms can indicate advanced prostate cancer:

  • Swelling in legs
  • Frequent pain in the thighs, hips, abdomen, or lower back
  • Bone pain
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea, vomiting, or reduced appetite