Prostate cancer in Canada

Prostate cancer develops in the cells of the prostate. Changes in these cells can lead to benign (non-cancerous) or precancerous conditions. In some cases, these tumours could become malignant (or cancerous).

The data

  • Prostate cancer is the 4th most common cancer in Canada
  • 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime
  • About 21,300 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017
  • Prostate cancer is the #1 cancer in men
  • 99% of prostate cancers occur in men aged 50+

Risk factors

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Ethnicity (African ancestry)
  • Diet high in fat, red meat and dairy
  • Inherited gene mutations

Screening and detection

  • 70% of prostate cancers are diagnosed early at Stage I and II*
  • 95% of Canadian men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive 5 or more years

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: June, 2017

Prostate cancer usually progresses slowly and can be successfully managed. Screening for prostate cancer using the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is not recommended for average risk Canadian men with no history of prostate cancer.

Screening guidelines are available from the Canadian task Force on Preventive Health Care.


For more facts about prostate cancer visit: and Search: prostate cancer

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Data Sources: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017; Statistics Canada, Canadian Cancer Registry CANSIM Table 103-0554; Canadian Partnership Against Cancer - 2017 Cancer System Performance Report.


* Cancer stage distribution is based on eight provinces and does not include Quebec or Ontario.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Health, 2017 | Cat.: HP35-83/4-2017E-PDF | ISBN: 978-0-660-08551-7 | Pub.: 170074

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