What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a gland that is only found in men. It is about the size of a walnut and makes the fluid that combines with sperm to make semen.

  • Prostate cancer happens when abnormal cells grow inside the gland.
  • We don’t know what causes prostate cancer or how to prevent it from happening.
  • It is a very slow growing cancer and the survival rate is good.                                           


How will I know I have it?

In the early days, there are often no symptoms. If there are symptoms, they can include:

  • Trouble peeing
  • Taking a long time to pee
  • Peeing often, including at night
  • Wetting yourself or feeling like you can't control your urge to pee.

These symptoms can also happen if the prostate gets bigger as part of getting older and may not be a sign of cancer.

When men have had prostate cancer for a while and it hasn't been diagnosed they can have:

  • Blood in their pee
  • Pain or burning when they pee
  • Pain in the lower back or around the hips

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to a nurse at your health centre.

What are my chances of getting prostate cancer?

If you are under 50, your chance of getting prostate cancer is low. Once you are over 50, your chances of getting prostate cancer increases the older you get.

Your risk of getting prostate cancer is higher if family members like your father, uncle or brother have had it.

Can I check if I have prostate cancer?

There is a screening test for prostate cancer called a PSA test, but doctors don't routinely do it. If you are over 50 and you are worried, talk to a nurse at your health centre.

If you are under 50, and don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a prostate cancer screening test.