Prostate cancer symptoms
Early prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms. Even when prostate cancer is advanced at the time of diagnosis, there may be no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are often due to non-cancerous conditions, such as benign prostate hyperplasia.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include:
- unexplained weight loss
- frequent or sudden need to urinate
- blood in the urine or semen
- pain in bones, especially the lower back, hips or pelvis.
These are not always symptoms of prostate cancer, but you should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)
A normal prostate gland may grow larger as you age – it is usually not cancer. This growth of the prostate is called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH may press on the urethra and cause symptoms that affect how you urinate. This may include the stream of urine being weak; having to go to the toilet more often, especially at night; having to go urgently; trouble getting started; dribbling of urine after going; and the bladder not feeling empty. These are known as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and they can also occur in advanced prostate cancer. If you are experiencing LUTS, speak to your doctor.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Amy Hayden, Radiation Oncologist, Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, and Chair, Faculty of Radiation Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Head, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, and Visiting Urologist and Uro-Oncology Lead, Urology Department, Eastern Health, VIC; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological and Prostate Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ken Bezant, Consumer; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, and Clinical Strategy Lead, Oncology Australia, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics and The University of Western Australia, WA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and HeadwayHealth Clinical and Consulting Psychology Services, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Graham Rees, Consumer; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Matthew Starr, Consumer. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. This booklet is funded through the generosity of the people of Australia.
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