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Symptoms of prostate cancer

Early prostate cancer doesn't usually cause any symptoms. Most prostate cancers tend to start in the outer part of the prostate gland. This means that to cause symptoms the cancer needs to be big enough to press on the tube that carries wee from your bladder out of your body. This tube is called the urethra.

Diagram showing prostate gland

The following symptoms can be a sign of cancer but are much more likely to be caused by your prostate gland becoming enlarged as you get older. They can include:

  • passing urine more often
  • getting up during the night to empty your bladder (nocturia)
  • difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying your bladder completely and straining when starting to empty your bladder
  • urgency
  • leaking urine
  • blood or semen in your urine
  • erection problems

What else can cause these symptoms

As men get older their prostate gland enlarges. It isn't normally cancer. But instead a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH doesn’t usually develop into cancer. But an enlarged prostate might sometimes contain areas of cancer cells.

BPH and prostate cancer have very similar symptoms, caused by the prostate gland pressing on the urethra. The urethra is the tube that empties out urine from the bladder.

When to see your doctor

See your doctor if you have any of the changes described here.

The changes might not mean that you have cancer but it is important to get them checked.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.