Signs and symptoms

Goutte tombant du robinet illustrant les symptômes urinaires du cancer de la prostate

Localized cancer

Signs and symptoms of a localized cancer

stade 1 cancer prostate

It is quite common that because of its generally slow growth, especially in its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms. The onset of symptoms is linked to the growing size of the tumour developing in the tissues and surrounding organs.

The most common signs and symptoms

  • Need to urinate often, especially at night (frequent urination)
  • Intense need to urinate (urgency)
  • Difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow
  • Slow or intermittent urine flow
  • Inability to urinate
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Feeling of not having completely emptied the bladder after urination
  • Difficulty in getting an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen (less common)

Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis can also cause symptoms similar to those of prostate cancer. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an increase in the size of the prostate caused by an increased cellular growth that occurs naturally with age. Prostatitis is caused by the inflammation or an infection of the prostate.

These conditions are not a form of prostate cancer nor do they increase the chances of developing prostate cancer.

What causes symptoms

The growing size of the prostate can put pressure on the urethra or bladder. This pressure can block urine flow which in turn can cause urinary or sexual problems.

Advanced cancer

Signs and symptoms of advanced cancer

stade 4 cancer prostate

Advanced signs develop as the cancer evolves and spreads to surrounding tissues and organs.

  • Bone pain (particularly in the back, hips, thighs, pelvis, and neck)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and loss of general condition
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles (due to metastasized lymph nodes caused by poor lymphatic drainage)

Tests your doctor will administer based on these signs

If you have any unusual symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor to determine its cause.

The doctor may then suggest you undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a rectal exam.

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