Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s grown large enough to press against your urethra. When this happens, you may have symptoms such as trouble urinating or not feeling like you’ve completely emptied your bladder.
Your prostate is a walnut-sized organ located below your bladder and in front of your rectum. The
When you develop prostate cancer, your prostate can squeeze your urethra and lead to symptoms such as frequent urination or weak urine flow. Your urethra is the tube that travels from your bladder to your penis. It passes through your prostate.
If the cancer spreads beyond your prostate, you can develop general problems such as unintentional weight loss or bone pain.
Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
In this article, we talk about the symptoms of prostate cancer in people assigned male at birth.
It’s important to note that not everyone assigned male at birth identifies with the label “male.” However, at times we use “male” or “men” to reflect the language in a study or statistic or to make sure people can find this article with the terms they search.
Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until the cancer is big enough to put pressure on your urethra. Most of the symptoms of prostate cancer are more likely to be caused by something other than cancer.
According to the National Health Service, symptoms can include:
- frequent urination
- urgent need to pee
- difficulty starting urination
- straining or taking a long time while peeing
- weak urine flow
- feeling like your bladder isn’t fully empty (urinary retention)
- blood in urine or blood in semen
Other symptoms can include:
- pain or burning while urinating
- pain when sitting from an enlarged prostate
Indications that your cancer may have spread to other parts of your body include:
- bone pain in hips, chest, or other areas
- back pain
- loss of appetite
- testicle pain
- unintentional weight loss
- change in bowel habits
- swelling in your feet or legs
Prostate cancer symptoms can mimic those of other prostate conditions. As many as
- bacterial prostatitis
- prostatic abscess, a collection of pus often caused by bacterial prostatitis
- nonbacterial prostatitis
- tuberculosis of the urinary system
Age is the primary risk factor for prostate cancer. About
Other risk factors include:
- Ethnicity: Compared with people of other ethnicities, African American men develop and die about
twice as oftenfrom prostate cancer. They also tend to:
- develop prostate cancer at a younger age
- have a more advanced stage of cancer when it’s found
- have a more severe type of prostate cancer
- Family history: Men with a close relative with prostate cancer such as a son, father, or brother tend to be more likely to develop prostate cancer. Some gene mutations inherited from your parents such as those in BRCA1 or BRCA2 are linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Diet: According to the
American Cancer Society, some evidence suggests that men who eat very high amounts of dairy seem to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer.
Current evidencesuggests that people who have obesity don’t develop prostate cancer more frequently, but they may have a higher risk of getting more aggressive cancer.
It’s a good idea to contact a doctor if you notice any potential symptoms of prostate cancer, even if the symptoms don’t seem serious. It’s especially important to see a doctor if you notice blood in your urine since it can also be a symptom of a serious kidney or bladder condition.
A definitive diagnosis is made with a prostate biopsy, where a doctor removes a small sample of cells for lab analysis.
Are certain types of prostate cancer more aggressive than others?
Almost all prostate cancers occur in people over the age of 50. Prostate cancers that occur in younger people are often
The majority of prostate cancers are classified as adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma that starts in the ducts of your prostate gland tends to be more aggressive than adenocarcinomas that start in gland cells.
If my father had prostate cancer, am I likely to get it?
Having a sibling or parent with prostate cancer
Are there yearly recommended screenings for prostate cancer?
There are various schools of thought on when to begin prostate cancer screening and how often it should be done. The consensus is that all men should first have a conversation with a doctor about the risks and benefits of screening.
- age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer (and expected to live at least 10 more years)
- age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer (including African Americans and men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65)
- age 40 for men with more than one first degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65
Learn more about prostate cancer screening.
Can trans women develop prostate cancer?
Trans women who have a prostate can develop prostate cancer, but there’s little research available examining their risk.
In a 2022
Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it puts pressure on your urethra. When this happens, it can cause symptoms such as trouble urinating or not feeling like you’re completely emptying your bladder.
It’s a good idea to visit a doctor any time you have potential symptoms of prostate cancer. Catching prostate cancer in the early stages gives you the best chance of having a good outlook.