Prostate cancer warning signs

Keep an eye on the signs of prostate cancer and see your doctor for screening tests.

Prostate cancer warning signs

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of male cancer, right behind skin cancer. It develops in the prostate – a walnut-sized gland that sits just below the bladder. Prostate cancer can grow very slowly, but some types are more aggressive and can spread quickly without appropriate treatment. 

Some men may not show any symptoms during early stages, but should keep an eye out for:

  • frequent urination, especially at night
  • difficulty starting or stopping urination
  • weak or interrupted urinary stream
  • painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
  • blood in urine or semen
  • deep pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.

These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you experience any of them, go and see your doctor.

Risk factors
The two factors most strongly linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer are age and family history.

Prostate cancer is an age-dependent disease, which means the chance of developing it increases with age. The risk of getting prostate cancer by the age of 75 is one in seven men. By the age of 85, this increases to one in five.

If you have a first-degree male relative with prostate cancer, you have a higher chance of developing it than men with no such history. The risk increases again if more than one male relative has prostate cancer. Risks are also higher for men whose male relatives were diagnosed when young.

There is some evidence to suggest that eating a lot of processed meat or food that is high in fat can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer usually grows quite slowly, and nine out of 10 cases are found in the early stages. Overall, the five-year relative survival rate is 100 per cent for men with disease confined to the prostate or nearby tissues. Many men live much longer. If the disease has spread far beyond the prostate, the survival rate drops to 28 per cent. 

Read more at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    27th Jun 2019
    Free advice:

    Yearly, do all your tests including blood test for PSA and ask the Dr. to do the "touch" examination (don't be ashamed, it is worth).

    It may have developed between tests from one year to the other but at least you tried to detect it in time.

    I missed it one year (my stupid Dr. "forgot" to include the PSA test at the time and I was back in a few months with the big C already in stage 4).

    Under treatment...

    27th Jun 2019
    Oh so sorry, all the best mate!
    27th Jun 2019
    Had my prostate removed a couple of years ago because of cancer,I was relatively young to get it. Difficult time as my beloved Mum died at the same time (I never told her). The PSA doubled in 3 months even though the levels were low (went from 4 to 8), and as I am a doctor (specialist not GP) I had some knowledge of the dangers, and the various treatments. As such I knew couldn't just sit on it (so to speak ), wondering what was going on inside of me. So I concurred with the Prof of Urology and just said "get it out of me" especially as there was no spread, and all contained within the capsule. Best decision I ever made, follow up blood tests all persistently negative. This is the great advantage of the PSA it alerts you to the fact that something may be wrong and further investigation is required.The PSA may be raised because of other factors, but it is a valuable alarm to look closer. I wouldn't blame your GP to much as the College of GP's (at least at the time I looked into it) did not recommend having the PSA as they thought it caused too much concern and worry needlessly and perhaps too many invasive treatments. i.e. we know most men who have it die with the disease rather than of the disease. My GP didn't order it either, I ordered , it on myself (and I have no family history). The GP COllege may have changed things since then. I know the Urologists recommend it and without it I may well have been dying or having to have radiotherapy or chemotherapy now. So sorry to hear about the stage 4, and being under treatment but take hear most the tumours respond pretty well to treatment. So all the very best AussieTuca hope it all goes well, medicine can truly do wonders these days.
    I think from my reading, that the jury is out regarding processed meats or high fat food being implicated in the aetiology. Interestingly it is more common in tall men and afro Americans.
    28th Jun 2019
    Good article and excellent comments from all here, especially the insights from all. Digby, great to have an "independent" doctor's insights to enhance our medical knowledge.
    27th Jun 2019
    Prostrate is like many other organs - if you don't use it you lose it.

    Don't be embarrassed. Frequent ejaculation later in life is the key to keeping PS at bay. Why do doctors not tell people this?

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