Prostate cancer

You are here: 

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer

A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). Prostate cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because it is generally a slow-growing cancer. Symptoms appear once the tumour enlarges or grows into surrounding tissues and organs.

The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer are:

  • changes in bladder habits
    • need to urinate often (frequency), especially at night
    • intense need to urinate (urgency)
    • difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow
    • inability to urinate
    • weak or decreased urine stream
    • interrupted urine stream
    • a sense of incompletely emptying the bladder
    • burning or pain during urination
  • blood in the urine or semensemenThe fluid released from the penis during orgasm that contains sperm from the testicles and fluid from the prostate and seminal vesicles (a pair of pouch-like structures close to the prostate).
  • painful ejaculation 

Late signs and symptoms

Late signs and symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs.

  •  bone pain (especially in the back, hips, thighs or neck)
  •  weight loss
  • fatigue
  • low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
  • loss of bladder or bowelbowelThe long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that receives partially digested food from the stomach, absorbs nutrients, prepares waste (stool or feces) and passes it out of the body through the anus. control


Heather Moyes I encourage every woman – regardless of how young or how old – to be aware of their body

Read Heather's story

Making progress in the cancer fight

Icon - arrow

The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

Learn more