Find out about who gets prostate cancer, where it starts and how common it is.
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland.
This short video is about prostate cancer.
Daniel (radiographer): Before your treatment starts your doctor will need to work out exactly where the treatment needs to go and also which parts need to be avoided by the treatment.
To have radiotherapy you lie in the same position as you did for your planning scans. We then line up the machine based on your tattoo marks.
It’s really important that you stay very very still when you’re having your treatment. It’s also important to let the radiographers know right at the beginning if you’re not comfortable so they can adjust your position.
We leave the room and control the machine from a separate room. This is so we aren’t exposed to radiation.
Treatment takes a few minutes and you’ll be able to talk to us using an intercom. We can see and hear you while you’re having treatment and we will check that you’re OK.
When your treatment starts you won’t feel anything. You may hear the machine as it moves around you giving the treatment from different angles.
Because we’re aiming to give the same treatment to the same part of the body every day the treatment process is exactly the same everyday so you shouldn’t really notice any difference.
You’ll see someone from the team caring for you once a week while you’re having treatment. They’ll ask how you are and ask about any side effects.
The prostate is a small gland at the base of the bladder. It is about the size of a walnut but gets bigger as men get older.
The prostate surrounds the first part of the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The same tube also carries semen, the fluid containing sperm.
The prostate gland produces a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA). A blood test can measure the level of PSA.
Where it starts
Most prostate cancers start in the outer gland cells of the prostate and are known as acinar adenocarcinomas. Many of these cancers grow extremely slowly and are not likely to spread. But some can grow more quickly.
Because 9 out of 10 men (90%) have acinar prostate cancer, our treatment information is for this type of cancer.
Who gets it
You need a prostate gland to get prostate cancer. So it mostly affects men but trans people who were assigned male at birth and male assigned non-binary people can get prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is most common in older men. On average each year 35 out of 100 (35%) of new cases are in men aged 75 and over.
It is more common in black Caribbean and black African men than in white men. It is less common in Asian men. A man’s risk of developing prostate cancer depends on many factors. These include:
- genetics and family history
- lifestyle factors
- other medical conditions
How common it is
In 2015, around 47,200 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK.
In adults, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK. In men, it is the most common cancer in the UK.
The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer has been increasing over the last 10 years. This might be because more men are having PSA tests and the population is getting older.