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. Where symptoms do occur, they are often due to non-cancerous conditions, such as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • frequent or sudden need to urinate
  • blood in the urine
  • pain in the lower back, hips or pelvis.

These are not always signs of prostate cancer, but you should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.


Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)

In men over the age of 50, a normal prostate may grow and cause problems with the flow of urine. This growth of the prostate is called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). It is generally a normal part of ageing – it is not cancer.

BPH may cause symptoms that affect how you urinate, such as the stream of urine being weak; having to go frequently, 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 also occur in advanced prostate cancer. If you are experiencing LUTS, speak to your doctor.

For an overview of what to expect during all stages of your cancercare, visit cancerpathways.org.au/optimal-care-pathways/prostate-cancer. This is a short guide to what is recommended, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

This information was last reviewed in March 2018
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