Ask the Doc: What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

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What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?


There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to prostate cancer symptoms.

One is that, it’s possible to have prostate cancer without any symptoms at all. The other is that prostate cancer symptoms are non-specific. This means that the symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other health conditions, so you can’t tell from symptoms alone whether you have prostate cancer or something else.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include the need to urinate often or all of a sudden, having a weak urine stream, painful urination, blood in your urine or semen, or pain in your lower back or pelvis. Some of these are also symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Because the symptoms of prostate cancer are non-specific, if you have any you should see your doctor. They can order tests that can distinguish between prostate cancer and other causes.

A/Prof Tim Moss

Tim Moss

Biomedical research scientist

Associate Professor Tim Moss has PhD in physiology and more than 20 years’ experience as a biomedical research scientist. Tim stepped away from his successful academic career at the end of 2019, to apply his skills in turning complicated scientific and medical knowledge into information that all people can use to improve their health and wellbeing. Tim has written for and Scientific American’s Observations blog, which is far more interesting than his authorship of over 150 academic publications. He has studied science communication at the Alan Alda Centre for Communicating Science in New York, and at the Department of Biological Engineering Communication Lab at MIT in Boston.


Prostate cancer
Prostate enlargement
Urinary problems

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