What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

More than 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year– that’s around 130 every day[1]. Prostate cancer is caused when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormally and form lumps called tumours. How do you know if you’ve got prostate cancer? In this blog, the second in our series for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we explore the symptoms of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.

 Common prostate cancer symptoms that can also be caused by an enlarged prostate include:

  • Needing to rush to the toilet to pass urine
  • Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • Blood in urine or blood in semen 

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. In men, the prostate gland can get larger with age due to a common non-cancerous condition called benign prostate enlargement. However, it’s still important to see your doctor to get checked out if you experience any changes or symptoms.

If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause other symptoms including bone and back pain, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, problems getting or keeping an erection and testicular pain.

Most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms and it can only be detected by testing for prostate specific antigen (PSA) and other biomarkers. At present there is no national NHS screening programme for prostate cancer. ProstateHealth UK offers a safe, at-home, accurate and affordable private finger prick blood test for PSA with rapid results, as part of our prostate cancer screening programme– read more here.

[1] https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/prostate-cancer#heading-Zero