The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Prostate Cancer

In New Zealand, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The Ministry of Health states every year around 3000 men are diagnosed and of those around 600 die per year. For Maori men, prostate cancer ranks as the second most common cause of cancer death after lung cancer.

Prostate Cancer Awareness is about encouraging men to take control of your health and get checked. The Fono is right behind our fathers, husbands and sons. Education and having a healthy lifestyle may contribute to the early detection and prevention of this disease.

Some men are more at risk of getting prostate cancer than others, but the most important risk factor is ageing. Men who develop prostate cancer are mostly over the age of 65, as it rarely occurs in men younger than 55. About one in 13 men will develop prostate cancer before the age of 75. Men with a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk.

Prostate cancer often does not produce any symptoms until the condition is quite advanced. Often it is diagnosed after treatment is sought for problems with urinary function. Symptoms are often similar to those of benign (non-cancerous) prostate conditions.

Common symptoms include:

  • Decreased force of the urine stream
  • Pain and/or difficulty when passing urine
  • Passing urine more frequently (especially at night)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Inability to pass urine (this can occur as the cancer enlarges, blocking the urethra)

The cause of prostate cancer is not yet known but you may be able to reduce your overall cancer risk by:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Eating low-fat, high-fibre foods - including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Exercising regularly
  • Being smoke-free

Find out more

Prostate Screening Service

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