Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs you have it for many years.
Symptoms often only become apparent when your prostate is large enough to affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis).
When this happens, you may notice things like an increased need to urinate, straining while urinating, and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied.
While you should never ignore these symptoms, they do not mean you definitely have prostate cancer. It is more likely that they are caused by something else, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also known as BPH or prostate enlargement).
Many of the symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to other conditions, so if you are experiencing any of the below, it doesn't necessarily mean you have cancer. However, it's still important to visit your doctor straight away:
- having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
- passing urine more often and/or at night
- difficulty starting and stopping the flow of urine
- discomfort (pain or burning) whilst passing urine
- a feeling of not having emptied the bladder fully
- dribbling of urine
- blood in urine or semen
- pain in the back, hips or pelvis.