Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Summary: Early prostate cancer symptoms include urinary & sexual problems. Where cancer has spread away from the prostate gland, advanced symptoms can develop which may include pain in the bones.

There are four widely accepted stages of prostate cancer ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ) and there are signs and symptoms associated with them. These signs and symptoms are inclusive. For example, Stage 4 symptoms may include stage 2 and stage 3 prostate cancer symptoms.

When cancer cells first occur in the prostate gland there may be no noticeable signs or symptoms of prostate cancer; cancer cells may only be detectable at a microscopic level and parts of the body are not impaired. At the earliest stage of prostate cancer, stage 1, there are no signs and symptoms.

Early Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

The early signs and symptoms of prostate cancer are associated with stages 2 and 3 in which prostate cancer is localized and found only in the prostate.

When cancer cells multiply, they can group together forming tumors (lumps). Tumors can affect surrounding tissue and the functioning of the body part where they originated.

Where cancer cells multiply in the prostate gland and invade surrounding tissue, tumors can form and symptoms arise. These symptoms can be both urinary and sexual.

Urinary Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Often, the first noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer are urinary in nature. As the cancer develops, tumors grow, the prostate gland enlarges and pressure can be put on the urethra which passes through it. The urethra is a tube in which urine flows from the bladder out of the body through the tip of the penis. Pressure on the urethra interrupts the flow of urine.
This can lead to symptoms of:

  • A Reduced & Weaker Flow When Urinating
  • Frequent Urination
  • A Burning Sensation Or Pain When Urinating
  • Difficulties Beginning Urination
  • A Feeling That You Still Need To Urinate When You Have Just Done So
  • A Longer Time Taken When Urinating
  • Straining When Urinating
  • Blood Within The Urine*

These symptoms can also result from an enlarged prostate caused by a less serious condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please visit a doctor and keep in mind that they may result from another condition.

Sexual Prostate Cancer Symptoms

In a similar manner to urinary symptoms, pressure on the urethra and the surrounding area can lead to sexual problems.

  • Impotence - problems having or maintaining an erection
  • Painful Ejaculation
  • Blood In Ejaculate (semen) - a condition known as hematospermia*

*blood within the urine and semen is a rare symptom of prostate cancer.

Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Prostate cancer is referred to as 'locally advanced' where it has has penetrated the capsule which surrounds the prostate but has not spread to other areas of the body (& is classed as Stage 3). Whenprostate cancer has spread, it has metastasized and is referred to as metastatic (or secondary) cancer.

Advanced prostate cancer symptoms refer to the symptoms of stage 4 (IV) prostate cancer. At this final stage, prostate cancer is no longer localized to the prostate gland.

The symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include earlier symptoms along with symptoms which are either general or specific to other areas of the body affected. For example, where prostate cancer has spread the bones are often affected. A common place for pain to be felt is in the pelvis, back and legs.

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include:

  • Pain In The Bones
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling (often in the legs)
  • Nausea
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stiffness In The limbs & Joints

These advanced prostate cancer symptoms could be due to other conditions.