Screening, Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer


There is no one test or procedure that everyone agrees is helpful for screening men for prostate cancer. Two commonly used tests are:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor examines your prostate with a gloved finger to look for unusual lumps or growth.
  • Prostate-specific antigen test (PSA): This blood test looks for higher levels of PSA in the blood, which may indicate the presence of prostate cancer.

A biopsy of the prostate may follow an abnormal DRE or elevated PSA. The decision to get screened depends on many factors, including a man’s family history, age, race and symptoms. Discuss the risk and benefits of screening with your doctor.

Signs and Symptoms

Men are often diagnosed with prostate cancer following a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Advanced prostate cancer can cause symptoms such as:

  • Weak urine stream
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Discomfort or evidence of swollen lymph nodes in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness

If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away. If your primary care doctor determines that you have prostate cancer, ask to be referred to a specialist in medical oncology, radiation oncology and/or urology for confirmation of your diagnosis and next steps.