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What Is Prostate Cancer?


Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland which is a walnut sized gland at the base of the bladder in men.


Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate gland undergo uncontrolled growth and become malignant, forming a lump and invading surrounding tissue such as the seminal vesicles and bladder neck.  Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer among men in Singapore.      The risk increases with age.


Many elderly men are affected by small prostate cancers which do not cause any symptoms and are clinically insignificant.  However, prostate cancer may spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body such as the lungs.  It can also spread to lymph glands in the pelvis or to the backbone. 


Who gets it?


Only men have a prostate gland so only men get prostate cancer.  A man’s risk of developing prostate cancer depends on multiple factors.  These include:

  • age

  • genetics and family history

  • lifestyle factors

  • other medical conditions

What are the symptoms?


Prostate cancer may produce no symptoms at all in its early stages.   

Advanced prostate cancer is when a cancer that began in the prostate has spread to another part of the body.  Signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty urinating

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Pain from cancer spreading to the bone

  • Tiredness

  • Unusual loss of weight

In Singapore, one in four men with prostate cancer are at the advanced stage of the disease when diagnosed.  Early detection can reduce this number by half.


If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms then don’t delay in getting medical advice.  The chances of survival of late stage cancer can increase with early detection.

What is prostate cancer?