prostate cancer symptoms and signs

Many of the symptoms of prostate cancer relate to the enlargement of the gland, so they are not specific to prostate cancer and can be caused by other conditions

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men.

The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

In most cases, prostate cancer symptoms are not apparent in the early stages of the disease

The symptoms of prostate cancer may be different for each man, and anyone of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions.

Regular testing is crucial as cancer needs to be diagnosed before metastasis.

prostate cancer ribbon


There are usually no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer. However, if symptoms do appear, they usually involve one or more of the following:

  • frequent urges to urinate, including at night
  • difficulty commencing and maintaining urination
  • blood in the urine
  • painful urination and, less commonly, ejaculation
  • difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection may be difficult

Advanced prostate cancer can involve the following symptoms:

  • bone pain, often in the spine, femur, pelvis, or ribs

If cancer spreads to the spine and compresses the spinal cord, there may be:

  • leg weakness
  • fecal incontinence


The specific cause of prostate cancer remains unknown. Hormonal, genetic, environmental, and also dietary factors are thought to play roles.

Age: There is a strong correlation between increasing age and developing prostate cancer. 

The incidence of prostate cancer increases steadily as men grow older. The median age at diagnosis of prostate cancer is 70.5 years of age.

Race. For reasons not yet determined, black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. 

In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.

Family history: Men who have a history of prostate cancer in their family, especially if it is a first-degree relative such as a father or brother.

If one first-degree relative has prostate cancer, the risk is at least doubled.

Diet: Dietary factors may influence the risk of developing prostate cancer. 

Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat.

Infection: Recent evidence has suggested the role of sexually transmitted infections as one of the causative factors for prostate cancer. 

People who have had sexually transmitted infections are reported as having a 1.4 times greater chance of developing the disease compared to the general population.

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