What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Many men do not experience any symptoms with prostate cancer. In most cases, the first signs of disease are found during a routine screening.

If symptoms do appear, they could be caused by prostate cancer or may be the result of another prostate condition. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble starting or stopping the flow of urine
  • Frequent urination (especially at night)
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Trouble emptying the bladder completely
  • Blood in the semen or urine
  • Dull pain in the hips, pelvis or back that does not go away
  • Leaking urine when laughing or coughing

Symptoms of anemia, such as shortness of breath, weakness, pale skin, or feeling very tired.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects you have prostate cancer, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your family medical history. The physical exam may include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a PSA blood test.

Your physicians may also order diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact type of tumor, so we can work with you to develop the best possible treatment plan. Some of the diagnostic tests include:

  • Biopsy – During this procedure, a healthcare provider will remove a tiny piece of tissue from a tumor, and a pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to see if it has cancerous cells.
  • MRI fusion-targeted biopsies – During this biopsy procedure, your doctor will use imaging that combines an MRI with an ultrasound to take a tissue sample from the prostate. This technique pinpoints the tumor for proper diagnosis.
  • Transperineal prostate biopsy – During this outpatient procedure, tissue samples are taken from the prostate using a needle, guided by ultrasound. The needle is inserted between the scrotum and rectum, reducing the risk of infection.
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