Department of Health

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of prostate cells, causing swelling of the prostate and the development of a tumour. The prostate is a small gland forming part of the male reproductive system. Its main function is to produce fluid which protects and enriches sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the slower growing cancers, but is the second largest cause of male cancer deaths, after lung cancer. It is potentially curable if detected and treated while still confined to the prostate gland.

Men in the high risk category are those with a family history of prostate cancer, particularly those with a father or brother who has it, and those over the age of 50 years.

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include some of the following, but those associated with urinary symptoms are more likely to be the result of other common prostate disorders:

  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Decreased libido (sex urge)
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Reduced ability to get an erection
  • Slow flow of urine and difficulty in stopping
  • Sudden or urgent need to urinate, and
  • Waking frequently at night to urinate.

Further information

For more information on this topic, please contact your doctor or the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia:

National Office
PO Box 1332
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Freecall: 1800 220 099
Phone: 02 9437 0688