Pain in the back, hips, thighs, shoulders, or other bones Swelling or buildup of fluid in the legs or feet. Each year, nearly 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it one of the most common cancers affecting people who have a prostate. That includes cisgender men, transgender women, intersex people, and non-binary people with biologically male sexual organs. Most people with a prostate have trouble urinating as they age and are usually not due to prostate cancer.
Still, if you have a slow or weak urine flow, or if the urine flow starts and stops beyond your ability to control it, it's a good idea to get a prostate test. Another possible warning sign of prostate cancer is hematuria, or blood in the urine. While this may be associated with other health problems, including a urinary tract infection, it's worth getting a checkup. Prostate cancer is a serious disease, but early detection is key.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and when or if you should be screened for prostate cancer, sometimes as early as age 40, if you are considered to be at high risk. It's important to note that the signs of prostate cancer are also shared by many other, less serious conditions. The prostate is a small organ located below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum (part of the large intestine). Prostate cancer that is detected early when it is still confined to the prostate gland is more likely to be successful in treatment.
If you have a very high risk of prostate cancer, you and your doctor may consider taking medications or other treatments to reduce your risk. Most people receive a diagnosis before they reach this point, and of course, pain and numbness can also be signs of a variety of other health problems. If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland, men may experience swelling in the lower body, back, hip or bone pain, abnormal bowel or urinary habits, or unexplained weight loss. This condition, known as dysuria, is most commonly associated with urinary tract infections, but it can sometimes be a sign of prostate cancer.
Or, the cause of a symptom or sign may be another medical condition that is not related to cancer. However, if you have a leaky bladder or can't control your bowel movements, talk to your doctor to rule out prostate cancer. If you have one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to see a doctor right away. Prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages, but few signs can help detect prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is classified using a Gleason score, which measures how abnormal or different normal cells are. However, these and other early symptoms of prostate cancer can also stem from benign prostate conditions, so it's important to perform diagnostic tests, including PSA tests and digital rectal examination. As prostate cancer progresses, it can cause pain in the lower back, hips, or chest, or numbness in the legs or feet.