Prostate Cancer



What is Cancer? 

The body is made up from millions of cells that are constantly dying and being replaced. Normally, cells divide in an orderly and controlled way. Cancer occurs when a cell divides and multiplies too rapidly. This produces a lump of abnormal cells known as a tumour. Tumours are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are 200 different types of cancer and early detection can greatly increase the chances for successful treatment. 

What is the prostate? 

The prostate is a gland found at the base of the bladder wrapped around the tube (called the urethra) which carries urine out of the penis. It is about the size of a golf ball and its job is to produce fluid which carries sperm. 

The Symptoms

The prostate tends to grow larger with age and because of its position can cause problems with urination. An enlarged prostate, known as Benign 

(non cancerous) Prostatic Hyperplasia, can usually be dealt with by medication or surgery.  The symptoms for prostate cancer can be similar to those found in men suffering from an enlarged prostate (see checklist) but for most men there are no symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you discuss any symptoms you have with your doctor.  Your doctor may recommend a blood test known as PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). Higher levels MAY be associated with prostate cancer

Can prostate cancer be treated?

Prostate cancer is now easier to detect and treat but it is important that men come forward as early as possible.

Prostate Cancer Facts

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in men accounting for over 200 deaths per year in Northern Ireland. 

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of cases in young men. Over 900 new cases of prostate cancer are detected in Northern Ireland each year. 

Prostate cancer responds well to treatment and may be cured when localized. 

For many men there are no symptoms to alert them to prostate cancer, therefore it is vital for men to be aware of issues around prostate health. It is important to note, the majority of prostate problems are not cancer. 

Check for

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do you sometimes pass urine when you don’t expect to? 
  • Do you pass urine three or more times during the night? 
  • Are you bursting to go and then find you barely produce a trickle? 
  • Do you strain to pass urine, or does it take a long time to start? 
  • When you pass urine, are you always stopping and starting? 
  • Do you have any discomfort such as pain or a burning sensation when you pass urine? 
  • Does your bladder feel full after you’ve finished? 
  • Is there any dribbling after you’ve stopped? 
  • Have you ever seen blood in your urine? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions your prostate may be playing up. We would recommend you see your GP immediately to determine whether these symptoms are due to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. 

Rapid diagnosis could save your life! 

Health Promotion

Action Cancer provides men’s Cancer Awareness and Health Living sessions to educate men on how a healthy lifestyle can help prevent cancer and how early detection through regular self-examination can save lives. 

Action Cancer provides…

Early Detection

Breast screening services and health checks available from the Big Bus and Action Cancer House in Belfast.

Support Services

Complementary therapy, acupuncture, counselling, life coaching, peer mentoring; and our Positive Living Programmes are available for those impacted by cancer in order to enhance quality of life and learn coping strategies.


As a local charity with a focus on cancer awareness, prevention and detection the health promotion team deliver a range of services and programmes to schools, communities and workplaces across Northern Ireland.