Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, but it can be successfully treated when found early.

There are usually no specific signs or symptoms of early prostate cancer. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) provide the best chance of identifying prostate cancer in its earliest stages, but these tests can have drawbacks. Talk to your UT Southwestern Medical Center physician about whether prostate cancer screening is right for you.


The following are the most common symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Difficulty urinating or holding back urine
  • Inability to urinate
  • Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Urinating often (especially at night)
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine

The symptoms of prostate cancer may resemble other conditions or medical problems.

As a man gets older, his prostate may grow bigger and obstruct the flow of urine, or interfere with sexual function. An enlarged prostate gland – a condition called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – may require treatment with medicine or surgery to relieve symptoms. This common benign prostate condition, which is not cancer, can cause many of the same symptoms as prostate cancer. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Prostate Cancer Statistics

  • 91 percent of all prostate cancers are discovered while they are either localized (confined to the prostate) or regional (nearby). The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors discovered at these stages is 99 percent.
  • In the past 20 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer combined has increased from 67 percent to 99 percent.
    Source: American Cancer Society