Two hundred and five patients (89 per 100,000 men) with newly diagnosed prostatic cancer comprises all cases in the Aust-Agder County in Norway over a 5-year period. There were 36% stage T0 M0, 19% T1-2 M0, 16% T3-4 M0 and 29% T0-4 M1. In patients with well differentiated disease (G1), 8% had distant metastases on presentation, whereas in the moderately differentiated tumors (G2) and the poorly differentiated tumors (G3) distant metastases occurred in 30% and 62%, respectively. A statistically significantly higher proportion of well differentiated (G1) tumors were observed in the younger age groups (less than 70 years). On presentation diagnosis was suspected on routine digital rectal examination in 9% of the patients, while 12% had symptoms on disseminated disease as mode of presentation. Of patients operated upon for apparently benign hyperplasia 13% had prostatic cancer.