Many prostate cancer sufferers experience no noticeable symptoms while the cancer is progressing, but some men do experience changes in their urinary and reproductive functions. Although there are no early warning signs of prostate cancer, there are a number of possible symptoms associated with prostate cancer that warrant an immediate doctor's appointment. These symptoms may also indicate other conditions such as prostatitis, so it's important to undergo a thorough workup to see if prostate cancer is the true cause.
When the prostate begins to swell due to the presence of cancer, its close proximity to the urethra may lead to the urination problems that have become the hallmark indicators of the condition. Men with prostate cancer may have a frequent need to urinate, particularly at night. They also may find it difficult to control the flow of urine, which includes difficulty starting and stopping urination. The urine stream may be decreased or interrupted, and blood may be present in the urine.
Some men have difficulty urinating standing up, while others leak urine when they cough or laugh. Pain or burning during urination is another indicator.
Urinary problems may be a sign of more common conditions such as a urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate without the presence of cancer. A thorough examination of the prostate by a qualified health care professional and other tests are necessary to make a diagnosis.
Erection and Ejaculation Problems
Erectile dysfunction has a number of causes, one of which is prostate cancer. Men may also experience pain while ejaculating or notice blood in the semen. These are rare symptoms that normally only occur in the advanced stages of prostate cancer. It is extremely important to get regular check-ups so the prostate cancer can be detected before such symptoms occur and can be more easily treated.
Pain, Swelling or Stiffness in the Lower Body
Prostate cancer may cause a deep, dull pain or general discomfort in the pelvic area, but it can also cause chronic pain or stiffness in the lower back, ribs, upper thighs and hips. Men may also have a deep bone pain in these areas. In some cases, weakness, swelling or paralysis may occur in the legs as the cancer affects the spine, and this may be accompanied by constipation. These are serious symptoms that may indicate that the cancer has metastasized to the bones or other parts of the body. Men may even experience fractures due to the weakening of the bones.
Other symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include fatigue and weakness, as well as unexplained weight loss and malaise. These symptoms may be the result of more common causes, but men should still seek immediate medical attention if they experience them.