Prostate Cancer Symptoms, Screening and Treatment

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

A man with prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. For men who do have symptoms, the common symptoms may include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night;
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine;
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow;
  • Painful or burning urination;
  • Difficulty having an erection;
  • Painful ejaculation;
  • Blood in urine or semen; and/or
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.

Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an infection, or another health problem may cause them. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your health care provider so that problems can be diagnosed and treated.

Should I get screened for prostate cancer?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies follow prostate cancer screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force recommends men ages 55-69 talk to their health care provider about their risk for prostate cancer and whether screening is the best choice for them. Risks for prostate cancer include family history, race or ethnicity, and other medical conditions. Cancer screening has risks and benefits. The choice to be screened for prostate cancer is an individual one and should be made after talking to a health care provider. The Task Force does not recommend screening for men age 70 and older.

The following guide may provide helpful information about talking to your health care provider about whether prostate cancer screening is right for you:

Can prostate cancer be treated?

There are many options for treating prostate cancer. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer should talk with their health care provider to decide whether treatment is needed and, if so, what treatment options are right for them. To learn more about prostate cancer treatment options, visit How is Prostate Cancer Treated?

Can I get treatment for prostate cancer if I don't have insurance?

Coverage for prostate cancer treatment is available for eligible men through the New York State Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program. Coverage lasts for the entire treatment period and includes medications. To see if you are eligible for prostate cancer treatment through the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program, visit Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program (MCTP): Breast, Cervical, Colorectal and Prostate Cancer