Prostate cancer: Stomach pain, constipation or blood in stools are signs not to ignore

Dr Dawn Harper discusses the symptoms of prostate cancer

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Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the gland cells of the prostate, found only in men. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. In fact, symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis. Three signs the cancer has spread include stomach pain, constipation or blood in the stools.

Although not common, prostate cancer can spread to a person’s bowels.

The cancer first spreads to the rectum which is the part of the bowel closest to the prostate gland.

When this occurs symptoms including stomach pain, constipation or blood in the stools may occur.


Prostate cancer symptoms do not usually manifest themselves in the early stages of the disease, said Loma Linda University.

The site added: “Less than five percent of men with prostate cancer show early urinary symptoms.

“The condition has usually progressed to later stages when prostate cancer symptoms do arise.

“Pressure on the organs surrounding your prostate can cause lower abdomen pain and soreness.”

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Symptoms experienced from prostate cancer will depend on where the cancer has spread to and how quickly it is growing.

A person might only get a few symptoms and they might not affect their everyday life.

However, the cancer might spread further over time, causing symptoms which affect a person more.

Cancer Research UK listed the main symptoms of prostate cancer to look out for which include:

  • Passing urine more often
  • Getting up during the night to empty your bladder (nocturia)
  • Difficulty passing urine – this includes a weaker flow, not emptying your bladder completely and straining when starting to empty your bladder
  • Urgency
  • Blood in your urine or semen

Even if the cancer has advanced, there are still a variety of treatment options available.

People are able to live longer today than in years past because of advances in medical research.

Treatments for advanced prostate cancer focus on managing symptoms and slowing the growth and spread of the cancer.

It’s strongly advised to speak to your doctor who will know the best treatment options.

Make sure to communicate with your doctor and tell them about any changes you notice in your body at each visit.

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