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Decide for you and the people you care for

There are no right or wrong answers

Here are some questions to help you figure out what's right for you. This should take no more than two minutes and will help you decide if you want to see your doctor about a prostate check. The tool is to help you or the man you’re supporting make a decision. We won’t keep any of the data after you leave the site and won’t ask you any questions that will allow anyone to identify you.

First, tell us your age

The nuts and bolts

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age.

The average age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low.

Whānau history

The nuts and bolts

Your chance of getting prostate cancer is doubled if your father or brother has had prostate cancer.

If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, unless your father or a brother has had prostate cancer.

If you are aged between 40 and 50 and your father or a brother has had prostate cancer then you should talk about having a check with your doctor.

Whānau history

The nuts and bolts

Your chance of getting prostate cancer is doubled if your father or brother has had prostate cancer.

If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, unless your father or a brother has had prostate cancer.

If you are aged between 40 and 50 and your father or a brother has had prostate cancer then you should talk about having a check with your doctor.

Are you having any of these problems?

  • Struggling to pee
  • Peeing frequently
  • Leaking
  • Blood in urine

The nuts and bolts

Most men who have problems peeing have an enlarged prostate but do not have cancer.

Many men with prostate cancer have no problems with peeing.

However prostate cancer can make it hard to pee, make you leak urine, make you need to pee more often and sometimes, cause blood in the urine. If you have any of these problems you should talk to your doctor. 

1 of 5

Getting checked means you are more likely to have your prostate cancer picked up early.

Not feel like getting checked This makes me: Feel like getting checked

The nuts and bolts

Having a prostate check means that if there is cancer, it is often found at an earlier stage than if you waited until you had symptoms. This means if it is a cancer that could harm you, your chance of a cure is greater.

Even if you are found to have advanced prostate cancer, then you may still get some benefit from finding it early and having treatment.

Are you having any of these problems?

  • Struggling to pee
  • Peeing frequently
  • Leaking
  • Blood in urine

The nuts and bolts

Most men who have problems peeing have an enlarged prostate but do not have cancer.

Many men with prostate cancer have no problems with peeing.

However prostate cancer can make it hard to pee, make you leak urine, make you need to pee more often and sometimes, cause blood in the urine. If you have any of these problems you should talk to your doctor. 

2 of 5

Getting checked usually means having a blood test and/or a digital rectal examination (DRE).

Not feel like getting checked This makes me: Feel like getting checked

The nuts and bolts

The blood test is to check your PSA level.

The DRE is where your doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for any lumps or hard areas on your prostate that might be cancer. You can choose not to have a DRE.

3 of 5

If the results of your check show you might have prostate cancer, you will need to have a biopsy to be sure

I'm not ok getting biopsy If my results are positive: I'm ok getting a biopsy

The nuts and bolts

A prostate check is a quick screening test. It can only tell you if there is a possibility that you already have prostate cancer.

A biopsy is the only way to find out if you do have cancer. Biopsies can have side effects including pain, bleeding and infection. These tend to be minor and easily treated.

4 of 5

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it will be hard for the doctor to tell you if the cancer will do you harm.

Not want to know if I have prostate cancer This makes me: Still want to know if I have prostate cancer

The nuts and bolts

Finding and treating all prostate cancers early might seem like a good idea, but some prostate cancers grow so slowly that they would never cause you problems in your lifetime.

Sometimes it can be hard for doctors to tell if your cancer is a type that could cause problems and would benefit from being treated. So by getting checked you may end up having treatment for a cancer that may never cause you problems.

5 of 5

Getting checked can mean you'll get treated for prostate cancer and these treatments can give you side effects.

I'm not concerned about the risk of side-effects This makes me feel: I'm concerned about the risk of side-effects

The nuts and bolts

All treatments for prostate cancer have a risk of leaving you unable to get an erection. Surgery also comes with the risk of leaving you leaking urine.

Sometimes these side effects go away in a few months, other times they may last the rest of your life. How well treatments work may also depend on what other illnesses you might have at the time. Sometimes a treatment may not cure the cancer.

If you decided to get a prostate check, would you have any of the following challenges?

If you are aged between 71 and 75 and haven't had any prostate problems so far, having a check usually doesn't give you any benefit. If you are having prostate problems, you should talk to your doctor.

The nuts and bolts

In men aged between 71 and 75, the question of whether or not to check and treat prostate cancer is tricky.

For some men of this age, active treatment with surgery or radiotherapy may be beneficial. However this has to be balanced against the risk of side effects caused by these treatments.

Learn more about prostate cancer here.

You indicated that you were under 40 years of age

You have a very low risk of having prostate cancer so a prostate check is not recommended.

Learn more about prostate cancer

The nuts and bolts

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, unless your father or brother has had prostate cancer.
If you are over 75 and haven't had any prostate problems so far, having a check isn't recommended. If you are having prostate problems, talk to your doctor.

The nuts and bolts

In men over the age of 75, the question of whether or not to check for and treat prostate cancer is tricky. This is because prostate cancer is often so slow growing you may not live any longer by finding and treating it.

Learn more about prostate cancer here.

You've indicated that you are under 50 years old and you have no known family history of prostate cancer. A check is not recommended for you at this time.

Learn more about prostate cancer

The nuts and bolts

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. If you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, unless your father or brother has had prostate cancer.
If your father or a brother has had prostate cancer you should talk to your doctor about being tested.

The nuts and bolts

You are more than twice as likely to get prostate cancer if your father or a brother has had prostate cancer. So, if your father or a brother has had prostate cancer, you should talk with your doctor about having a check.
If you are having any of these problems you should talk to your doctor.

The nuts and bolts

Most men who have problems peeing have an enlarged prostate but do not have cancer.

Many men with prostate cancer have no problems with peeing.

However prostate cancer can make it hard to pee, make you leak urine, make you need to pee more often and sometimes, cause blood in the urine. If you have any of these problems you should talk to your doctor. 

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