Gary Larson.
Gary Larson. Contributed

NRL legend Gary Larson speaks out to raise cancer awarness

NRL great Garry Larson has spoken out about his own personal battle with prostate cancer to raise awareness in the community.

Larson, who was diagnosed last November, said he showed no symptoms.

"It came out of the blue,'' Larson told

"To hear the words from the doctor ... prostate cancer ... I went numb.'

Prostate cancer accounts for approximately 30% of cancers diagnosed each year in Australian men.

'The average age at the time of diagnosis is 70, while Larson turned 47 in January.

Despite the possible side affects Larson made the decision to have his prostate removed and after the surgery pathology tests came back showing no signs of cancer cells around the prostate.

"I hope I can be a lesson for all men to have their prostate checked, because when we do get signs of something, it is usually too late," he said.

Gladstone-born Larson, who won praise with his tireless displays for North Sydney Bears and the Queensland State of Origin and Australian teams in the 1980s and 1990s, moved back to the Gladstone region following footy stardom.

Larson has a 19-year-old daughter Poppy and a 17-year-old son Jack with wife Kate.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death, after lung cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia advises men over age 50, or 40 with a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctor about testing for prostate cancer.

Men should make an individual informed decision about testing based on discussion with their doctors.