Prostate cancer symptoms develop slowly and can go unnoticed for many years. They usually don’t show until pressure has been put on the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.
When the cancer has grown big enough to put pressure on the urethra then symptoms such as needing to pee more frequently and blood in urine can begin to show.
It’s important to see your doctor if you experience these symptoms, but even more so if you experience any signs prostate cancer has advanced.
Advanced prostate cancer is when the cancer that began in the prostate gland spreads to other parts of the body.
Symptoms related to a secondary cancer will depend on which part of the body is affects, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
But generally, the signs are:
- Being more tired than usual
- Generally feeling unwell
- Having less of an appetite
Cancer Research UK explains: “These symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions so might not be a sign that the cancer has spread.
“The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs and other soft tissues of the body.
“A large tour in the prostate gland can spread into or press on areas around the prostate, such as the back passage or urethra.”
If cancer has spread to the bones, the most common symptom is bone pain that feels like a full ache or stabbing pain.
If cancer has spread to the liver you may feeling discomfort or pain on the right side of your tummy, feel sick, experience poor appetite and weight loss, itchy skin and a swollen tummy.
Cancer which has spread to the lung may result in a cough that doesn’t go away, breathlessness, ongoing chest infections and coughing up blood.
When it comes to the outlook of prostate cancer, Prostate Cancer UK explains that while it isn’t possible to cure advanced prostate cancer, treatments can help keep it under control, often for several years. Treatments will also help manage any symptoms.
It explains: “No one can tell you exactly what your outlook will be, as it will depend on many things such as where the cancer has spread to, how quickly it has spread, and how well you respond to treatment.
“Some men may not respond well to one treatment, but may respond better to another. And when your first treatment stops working, there are other treatments available to help keep the cancer, under control for longer.”
Some men with advanced prostate cancer will die from prostate cancer.
But you should speak to your doctor about your own situation any any questions or concerns you have.
Many men could confuse an enlarged prostate with one of the symptoms of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can sometimes be mistaken for an enlarged prostate – medically referred to as benign prostatic enlargement.
If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and urethra, affecting how you pee, making some symptoms of an enlarged prostate similar to prostate cancer.