Health Resources

Prostate Cancer

What is the prostate and what does it do?

The prostate gland is a key component of the male reproductive encircling the urethra. Its primary functions are to produce a fluid that combines with sperm to create semen and to generate prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which liquefies the semen.

Male Reproductive System

What is prostate cancer?

Our bodies constantly produce new cells, but at times cells divide abnormally, forming a lump known as a tumour. Tumours can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Benign tumours

Prostate cancer refers to the presence of malignant tumour cells within the prostate. It ranks as the third most common cancer among men in Singapore.

Stages of prostate cancer

Cancer staging communicates the size and extent of cancer spread:


The tumour is confined within the prostate, often too small to be detected during a physical examination.

Localised cancer

Locally advanced

The tumour extends beyond the prostate to nearby areas, such as the seminal vesicles or surrounding the bladder or rectum. The cancer has not yet spread to other parts of the body.

Locally advanced cancer

Metastatic disease

The cancer spreads to other areas, such as lymph nodes, bones or organs like the liver, lungs and brain. Node-positive disease, where cancer spreads to lymph nodes, may still be treatable with robot-assisted radical prostatectomy or radiotherapy. When the cancer has spread to the bones or other organs, hormonal therapy is typically employed.

Metastatic disease

What are the risk factors of prostate cancer?

The risk increases significantly in men over 65, although younger men can also be affected.

Family history
A family history of prostate cancer raises the risk, though most cases occur without such history.

High-risk diets and obesity may elevate the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Early-stage prostate cancer often presents no symptoms. Advanced stages may manifest symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weaker urine stream
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Bone pain, especially in the back
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Bowel control issues
  • Erectile dysfunction

It's important to note that urinary symptoms can also arise from benign prostate enlargement, a condition common with ageing.

What are the services and treatments available for prostate cancer?

Singapore does not have a prostate cancer screening programme. However, investigation is recommended for individuals exhibiting symptoms or having a family history of prostate cancer.

Click here to learn more about the services and treatments available for prostate cancer.

Last updated on
Best viewed with Chrome 79.0, Edge 112.0, Firefox 61.0, Safari 11
National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Back to Top