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What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer begins when abnormal cells in the prostate gland start growing in an uncontrolled way.

In some cases, prostate cancer grows more slowly than other types of cancer. But sometimes prostate cancer can grow and spread quickly, so it is important to see your doctor about any symptoms or unusual test results promptly.

Anyone with a prostate can get prostate cancer, so it mostly affects men. Transgender women, male-assigned non-binary people or intersex people can also get prostate cancer if they have a prostate. For information specific to your situation, speak to your doctor.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men (apart from common skin cancers). There are about 19,000 new cases in Australia every year.

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed in March 2020 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Amy Hayden, Radiation Oncologist, Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, and Chair, Faculty of Radiation Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Head, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, and Visiting Urologist and Uro-Oncology Lead, Urology Department, Eastern Health, VIC; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological and Prostate Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ken Bezant, Consumer; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, and Clinical Strategy Lead, Oncology Australia, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics and The University of Western Australia, WA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and HeadwayHealth Clinical and Consulting Psychology Services, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Graham Rees, Consumer; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Matthew Starr, Consumer.