Key prostate cancer symptoms to look out for – and the 7 early warning signs

Movember is here to raise awareness for prostate cancer – one of the most common illnesses in UK men. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for

There are around 11,900 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year
There are around 11,900 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year

Shockingly, one in eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

As Movember comes around once again, it is important for men to know the signs of prostate cancer and how to check for it.

There are around 11,900 prostate cancer deaths in the UK every year, an average of 32 a day and, according to Cancer Research UK, there are around 52,300 new prostate cancer cases in the UK every year, which is around 140 every day.

This makes it the most common form of cancer in men, trans women, non-binary and intersex people in the UK.

Older men are far more susceptible to get prostate cancer. Between 2016-2018, 34% of diagnosed cases were men aged 75 or over.

So what are the symptoms of prostate cancer?



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Symptoms of prostate cancer

The NHS lists the following as possible symptoms of prostate cancer.

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • needing to rush to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • blood in urine or semen

None of the above symptoms mean you necessarily have prostate cancer. Prostate enlargement, something that can occur naturally as a person gets older, is often a non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The growing prostate gland can press on the urethra.

Regular checks are already important, particularly for men over 50. Black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer are also more susceptible.

Getting checked

One third of men with a prostate cancer diagnosis say it was their partner who raised the alarm


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Men, typically older men, can find it difficult to talk about their problems such as mental health difficulties or general ailments.

It is important not to be embarrassed by any problems you may be having, the most important thing is your health.

If you are concerned, the you should speak to your GP. Prostate Cancer UK also offer support form specialist nurses here which can be over the phone or online.

The Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme gives men over 50 the right to have a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test on the NHS, as long as they have considered the advantages and disadvantages.

This is a blood test that measures PSA levels in your blood.

Other common tests include a typical digital rectal examination (DRE) and urine tests to rule out infection.

Of the DRE test, Prostate Cancer UK said: “They will slide a finger gently into your back passage. They’ll wear gloves and put some gel on their finger to make it more comfortable.

“You may find the DRE slightly uncomfortable or embarrassing, but the test isn’t usually painful and it doesn’t take long.”

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