Skip to content

Signs You Have Prostate Cancer That Worry Doctors

Prostate cancer signs doctors want you to be aware of.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the U.S., after non-melanoma skin cancer. "When prostate cancer is diagnosed before it spreads to other parts of the body, about 97% of people live at least five years after diagnosis," says urologist Christopher Weight, MD. Here are five warning signs of prostate cancer, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Erectile Dysfunction

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Prostate cancer is strongly linked to sexual dysfunction, experts warn. "Not being able to get an erection can have many causes, one of which may be prostate cancer," says Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC. "Health anxiety adds to the likelihood of experiencing ED, so the bottom line is to get the issue investigated as soon as possible. At least then you'll know what you are dealing with. Other factors such as diabetes, smoking, and cardiovascular disease, can lead to ED."


Frequent Urination


"Going to the bathroom often and getting up to pee during the night can also be a warning of prostate cancer," says Dr. Ruscio. "More often it's not a sinister sign though: Increased frequency of urination is usually harmless in older men, and is commonly caused by benign enlargement of the prostate."


Pelvic Discomfort

Tired millennial office worker stretch in chair suffer from sitting long in incorrect posture, male employee have back pain or spinal spasm working in uncomfortable position

"When prostate cancer takes hold, it can spread, causing pain in your pelvic region, as well as in the bones in your hips, chest, and back," says urologist Robert Cornell, MD, PA. "When your body is in any discomfort, there's no clearer signal that something's not right, which is why you should seek our help at the earliest signs of a problem."


Painful Urination

man prostate cancer, premature, ejaculation, fertility, bladder problem

Trouble urinating is an early sign of prostate cancer, doctors say. "One of the most easily recognizable signs of a prostate problem is difficulty urinating," says urologist Alex Lesani, MD. "That includes having a weak stream of urine, dribbling urine, and having frequent urges to urinate, even during sleep and even if you don't have a lot of urine in your bladder. Urinary symptoms occur as the tumor enlarges and begins pressing on your bladder or against your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body)."

RELATED: I'm a Dermatologist and Here Are Ways to Get Rid of Adult Acne Forever


Be Aware Of Your Family History

Family reunion

"It's rare that cancer affords you the opportunity to get a glimpse into a crystal ball, but prostate cancer is one where clues lie in your family history," says Dr. Cornell. "If close relatives have been diagnosed with the disease, this should give you fair warning that you may be more vulnerable. But don't just concentrate on prostate cancer — if the women in your family have struggled with breast cancer, this is a red flag too. Families that carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations run a greater risk of developing both breast and prostate cancers."

RELATED: Sure Signs You Have "Bad Breath" Without Knowing It


When Should I See a Doctor?

Handsome doctor in lab coat using tablet computer in clinic.

If you are concerned about symptoms of prostate cancer, don't hesitate to speak to your health provider. "To take charge of your prostate, urinary and sexual health — not just to protect you from prostate cancer — I recommend every man start seeing a urologist regularly at age 40," says urologist Eric Klein, MD. "Cancer screenings can be lifesavers. Regular visits to your urologist can keep you feeling good and make the aging problems all of us men face a little easier to cope with."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan
Filed Under