5 Signs of Prostate Cancer Men Should Never Ignore

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Though the disease often never presents with any symptoms, occasionally it does; if you notice any of the following prostate cancer symptoms, call your doctor.


You have difficulty peeing

If you have trouble urinating or your stream is slow or weak, call your doctor—it could be one of the most common signs of prostate cancer. “Even if this happens once or twice and doesn’t persist, you should not ignore it because it’s not normal. Get it checked out right away,” says Ash Tewari, MD, chairman of the department of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Although your toilet troubles are more likely to be caused by a condition other than cancer—they can be a symptom of UTIs in men, for example—you can’t be too careful, he says. The urge to go more often, especially at night, or loss of bladder control can be another sign that something’s not right.


There’s blood in your urine

If you notice blood in your urine, or if it burns or is painful to pee, ask your doctor about getting tested for prostate cancer, says Dr. Tewari. Because of the prostate gland’s proximity to the urethra and bladder, a tumor pressing on it may cause urinary symptoms. These are other health clues your urine may provide.


You become impotent

If you suddenly have trouble getting an erection, ejaculating is painful, or there’s blood in your semen, call your doctor. “Issues with erectile function may signal late-stage prostate cancer,” says Dr. Tewari.


Your body aches

“Pain in the bones—such as the ribs, hips, or spine—can actually be one of the signs of prostate cancer,” says Dr. Tewari. Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs is also a symptom, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and may be a sign that cancer has spread.


Loss of appetite

If those steak and potatoes suddenly aren’t so appetizing, take note. “Loss of appetite or the desire to eat things one normally would can be a prostate cancer warning sign,” says Dr. Tewari. Even though this symptom seems minor, Dr. Tewari says not to ignore it. “Since prostate cancer usually doesn’t present with clear signs of prostate cancer specifically, in order for us to find cancer that’s curable, men have to be proactive,” he says. Here are other cancer symptoms men tend to ignore.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest