If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be asking yourself if there were warning signs or symptoms you should have noticed earlier. Unfortunately, there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer.
The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. That’s why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families. In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms that include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, sometimes urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
However, urinary symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Prostatitis or BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, also known as enlargement of the prostate) are benign diseases but can cause similar symptoms and are very common.
What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.
Remember: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter what’s most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.