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Symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer are signs that you should check with your doctor. Patients may not always experience symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer, and many of the potential symptoms are not specific to locally advanced prostate cancer. Nevertheless, if you experience any of the following symptoms make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause.
- Nocturia or waking up at night to urinate. While we all have to get up to urinate occasionally, if you are having to get up two or more times per night you need to discuss this with your doctor. In addition to being a symptom of a benign prostate condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), frequent nighttime urination can be a sign of diabetes or other heart conditions. You might try simply decreasing or eliminating drinking after your evening meal. Additionally, decreasing caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can decrease your urinary frequency. If these steps improve the nighttime awakenings to urinate, then they are most likely the cause. If not or if you are concerned, make sure to discuss with your doctor.
- Weak urinary stream. As you age a weaker urinary stream often occurs. As children, many young boys attempt to see how far away they stand from a toilet or another object they may be trying to urinate on. In practical terms, you will likely have to stand closer to an object in your 50s and 60s compared to when you were younger. A weak urinary stream can also be a symptom of other conditions such as a urinary tract infection, a prostate infection called prostatitis, BPH, or a side effect of some common drugs like those used to treat allergies. Symptoms of a weakened urinary stream that you need to discuss with your doctor include dribbling when you finish urinating, hesitancy or difficulty in starting to urinate, or feeling as though you have to “go again” after recently urinating. This is a symptom of urinary retention.
- Dysuria or pain when you urinate. While pain when you urinate could indicate symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer, the pain could also just be a symptom of a prostate infection or a urinary tract infection. No matter what the cause, it always needs to be looked into by a healthcare professional.
- Pain in thighs, lower back, or hips. Pain in these areas could be due to something simple like participating in activities that you have not done in a long time (e.g., like riding a bike), falling, or just regular arthritis. However, pain that does not improve with several days of rest or persists for more than a couple of weeks needs to be investigated.
- Hematuria or blood in your urine. This is another symptom that should always trigger a visit to your doctor. In addition to prostate cancer, blood in your urine could be from several different kinds of cancer, disorders of your blood system that cause problems with clotting, or sickle cell disease.
- Weight loss. While most Americans can stand to lose 10 or more pounds and most would love to do just that, unintended weight loss almost always means something is afoot. Possible causes include everything from depression to thyroid problems. Your doctor can help get to the bottom of whatever is causing your weight loss.
These symptoms of locally advanced prostate cancer can mimic many other diseases. The only way you will be able to tell what is causing your symptoms is to get to the doctor and get them checked out.
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
American Prostate Cancer Foundation. Prostate cancer symptoms
NIH Medline Plus. Prostate cancer: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment