Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Symptoms are not always present with prostate cancer. When they are present, the most common symptoms include1,5:
- Urinary problems
- Having an inability to pass urine
- Having a hard time starting or stopping urine flow
- Needing to urinate often, especially at night
- Having a weak urine flow
- Having pain or burning while urinating
- Problems having an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
These symptoms do not automatically mean that you have prostate cancer. They can indicate the presence of some other noncancerous condition, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia.5
What can I do to prevent prostate cancer?
There is no real way to prevent prostate cancer. But you can make certain lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and exercising, that may reduce your risk of developing this disease.7,55
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) and take a blood test to measure your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. If the results are not normal, you may also undergo a transrectal ultrasound and transrectal biopsy.1,8
Do high PSA levels mean I have prostate cancer?
Not necessarily. High PSA levels can also indicate the presence of a noncancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. If your PSA levels are elevated, your doctor will do other tests to find out what is causing the elevated PSA levels.1,8
What are my treatment options?
Your treatment options vary, depending, in part, on the stage of your prostate cancer. Treatment options may include radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery to remove the cancer cells.8
How will I know if my treatment is working?
Monitoring your PSA levels is one way to check whether your treatment is working. Successful monitoring also includes59:
- Keeping your doctor's appointments
- Recording your PSA results
- Following your doctor’s recommendations
Will I have side effects with my treatment?
Side effects depend on the type of treatment you receive. It’s important to tell your doctor about any side effects.
What are the most common side effects of prostate cancer treatments?
Side effects depend on your treatment. Read more about how to manage side effects.
Can I take vitamins or supplements during my treatment for prostate cancer?
Some vitamins and herbal supplements may affect the way your treatment works. So always ask your doctor before you take any vitamins or supplements.