Endorsed by the European Oncology Nursing Society

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer image

What is prostate cancer?

  • Prostate cancer begins in the prostate, a gland that is part of the male reproductive system1
  • Almost all prostate cancers develop from the gland cells of the prostate1

Types of prostate cancer

  • 90% of prostate cancer is of a type called acinar adenocarcinoma2
  • Other, much rarer, types include: ductal adenocarcinoma, transitional cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, carcinoid, small-cell cancer, sarcomas, and sarcomatoid cancers2

Who gets prostate cancer?

  • Prostate cancer only affects males1,3
  • The chance of developing prostate cancer increases with age, and most cases occur in males aged over 50 years3
  • It is the 2nd most common cancer in men worldwide4
  • More than 1 million cases were diagnosed worldwide in 20124

Screening, detection and diagnosis

  • There are 2 tests that may be used to screen for prostate cancer:
    • Digital rectal examination5
    • Prostate specific antigen blood test5
  • Diagnosis is made on the basis of the following tests:
    • Digital rectal examination2,3
    • Prostate specific antigen blood test2
    • Rectal ultrasound2
    • Sample biopsy taken during ultrasound scan2
    • And the following tests may also be used: MRI, template biopsy, and targeted biopsy2

Patient guidelines

A patient guideline is a document containing information for patients and their families about their disease and the treatment options available to them.

Click here to see the European patient guideline on your condition.6

Local support groups

Contacting a support group may help you during diagnosis and treatment and afterwards.


Click here for information on the incidence of prostate cancer in Europe.



  1. American Cancer Society. What is prostate cancer?. Accessed November 2015.
  2. Cancer Research UK. Types of prostate cancer. Accessed November 2015.
  3. NHS Choices. Prostate cancer - introduction. Accessed November 2015.
  4. World Cancer Research Fund International. Prostate cancer statistics. Accessed November 2015.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What screening tests are there for prostate cancer?. Accessed November 2015.
  6. European Society for Medical Oncology. Prostate cancer: a guide for patients. Accessed November 2015.
  7. World Health Organization. Prostate cancer. Accessed November 2015.