What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow more quickly than in a normal prostate, forming a malignant tumour.
Most prostate cancers grow slower than other types of cancer.
Early (or localised) prostate cancer means cancer cells have grown, but they have not spread beyond the prostate. Some prostate cancers may spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones and lymph nodes. This is called advanced prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer symptoms
Early prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms. This is because the cancer is not large enough to put pressure on the urethra.
If the cancer grows and spreads beyond the prostate (advanced cancer), it may cause:
- pain or burning when urinating
- increased frequency or difficulty urinating
- blood in the urine or semen
- pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.
Prostate cancer statistics
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men (apart from common skin cancers).
- There are about 20,000 new cases in Australia every year.
- One in seven men in Australia are at risk of developing prostate cancer before age 75.
- It is less common in men under 50, unless they have a family history of prostate cancer.
The aim of this information is to help you understand about prostate cancer. We cannot advise you about the best treatment for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about the questions you would like to ask your doctors or other health carers.