Oxford Screening Information Sheet
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
What are the key symptoms of prostate cancer?
Although there are no specific symptoms of prostate cancer, many of the symptoms men may suffer relate to the increase in size of the prostate that can also occur in non-cancerous conditions. For this reason, the group of symptoms below are often referred to as symptoms of 'prostatism' rather than symptoms of prostate cancer.
1. None – It is vitally important to understand that it is possible for there to be prostate cancer present and there be no symptoms. That is how prostate screening works. As more and more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer following an abnormal PSA test result rather than from symptoms of an enlarged prostate, then the presence of symptoms is clearly not a requirement for the diagnosis of cancer ie you can have prostate cancer without any symptoms. Screening tests can detect some cancers before symptoms develop. Treating early cancers is the best chance for a cure. To find out more about prostate screening tests - click here
2. Poor flow of urine when ‘passing water’ – this can be of very gradual onset over months and years so it may not be noticed until the flow is severely reduced. As the prostate enlarges there is narrowing of the tube running through the middle of the prostate that carries the urine (the prostatic urethra).
3. Slow start to the flow of urine
4. Slow to finish the flow of urine with dribbling at the end of the flow
5. Having to pass urine more frequently than normal (frequency) including through the night (nocturia)
6. Passing blood in the urine - (haematuria)
7. Recurrent urinary infection - Stagnant urine in the bladder due to difficulty in emptying can predispose to recurrent infections.
8. Symptoms of spread Only rarely these days, do men go to their doctor with advanced prostate cancer that has already spread to another part of the body so the patient complains of bone pain eg. back pain, or a lump in the neck that is spread of the cancer to a lymph gland.
1. If you have symptoms, you can have a PSA screening test but you also need to go to your doctor.
2. If you have any of these symptoms then there is a risk of prostate cancer but there are many other conditions that can cause these symptoms. So do not be too worried but do not ignore what your body is telling you and make sure you take action.
Author: Dr Colin Clelland
Tel 07534 900707