Early prostate cancer is contained within the prostate gland and is called localised cancer.
The spread of the cancer through the capsule (the outer covering) of the prostate is known as extracapsular spread or locally advanced cancer.
Prostate cancer can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones and lymph glands. This is called metastatic, secondary or advanced cancer. Cancer cells can move through the lymphatic system or bloodstream.
How common is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer occurs most commonly in men over 50 years and is the most common cancer among New Zealand men. Around 3,400 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in New Zealand each year. Of this number around 7% are Māori.
Causes of prostate cancer
The causes of prostate cancer are not fully understood. But we know that the chance of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older and doubles if your father or a brother have had it.