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Symptoms

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that affects the prostate, a small gland found near a man's bladder.

There may be no symptoms of prostate cancer at first. Later symptoms include needing to pee more than usual or finding it hard to empty your bladder.

Prostate cancer does not always need to be treated straight away. The main treatments include surgery to remove the prostate and radiotherapy.

It's not clear what causes prostate cancer. It's more common in men over 50 and men with an African-Caribbean or African family background.

Read more on the NHS website.

There may be no symptoms of prostate cancer at first. Later symptoms include needing to pee more than usual or finding it hard to empty your bladder.

Symptoms of prostate cancer

Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra).

When this happens, you may notice things like:

These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.

It's more likely they're caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.

Read more on the NHS website.

Prostate cancer does not always need to be treated straight away. The main treatments include surgery to remove the prostate and radiotherapy.

Medical treatments

For many men with prostate cancer, treatment is not immediately necessary.

If the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest either "watchful waiting" or "active surveillance".

The best option depends on your age and overall health. Both options involve carefully monitoring your condition.

Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages.

Treatments include:

  • surgically removing the prostate
  • radiotherapy – either on its own or alongside hormone therapy

Some cases are only diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer has spread.

If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body and cannot be cured, treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.

All treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects, including erectile dysfunction and urinary symptoms, such as needing to use the toilet more urgently or more often.

For this reason, some men choose to delay treatment until there's a risk the cancer might spread.

Newer treatments, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and cryotherapy, aim to reduce these side effects.

Some hospitals may offer them as an alternative to surgery, radiotherapy or hormone therapy.

But the long-term effectiveness of these treatments is not known yet.

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not clear what causes prostate cancer. It's more common in men over 50 and men with an African-Caribbean or African family background.

Read more on the NHS website.