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Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland in an uncontrolled way, forming a malignant tumour.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men in Australia and the third most common cause of cancer death. One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. It is more common in older men, with over 63% of cases diagnosed in men over 65 years of age.


General population screening is not recommended for prostate cancer.

Have I got any signs of prostate cancer?

Early prostate cancer usually does not cause symptoms.

Advanced prostate cancer symptoms can include:

  • frequent urination
  • pain while urinating
  • blood in the urine or semen
  • a weak stream of urine or difficulty emptying your bladder
  • pain in the back or pelvis
  • weak legs or feet.

More widespread disease often spreads to the bones and causes pain or unexplained weight loss and fatigue.

Am I at risk of prostate cancer?

  • over 50 years of age
  • family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer, especially BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
  • a father or brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60.

How will I get tested?

Visit your GP who will order investigations.

  • blood test.
  • a digital examination is no longer recommended for men without symptoms.
  • a biopsy performed under ultrasound.

My test is positive - what happens next?

  • referral to a specialist including the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse.
  • depends on the extent of the cancer.
  • CT scan and bone scan
  • active surveillance – regular blood tests, examinations, MRI scans and biopsies.
  • watchful waiting
  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • hormone therapy
  • symptom management

Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse

The Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse will support patients and their loved ones with clinic appointments, provide resources during the treatment journey and be a continued source of information.

Last updated: 3 June 2021