Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer facts*

*Prostate cancer facts medical author:

  • The prostate is a gland that is a part of the male reproductive system that wraps around the male urethra near the bladder
  • Common problems are BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis (non-bacterial)
  • Prostate cancer is common in men over 50, especially in African-Americans and in men who eat fatty food and/or have a father or brother with prostate cancer
  • Symptoms of prostate problems (and prostate cancer) include urinary problems (little or no urine output, difficulty starting (straining) or stopping the urine stream, frequent urination, dribbling, pain or burning during urination), erectile dysfunction, painful ejaculation, blood in urine or semen and/or deep back, hip, pelvic or abdominal pain; other symptoms may include weight loss, bone pain and lower extremity swelling
  • Prostate cancer is definitively diagnosed by tissue biopsy; initial studies may include a rectal exam, ultrasound and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels
  • The diagnosis of leukemia is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, and examining blood and bone marrow samples under a microscope.
  • Treatments for prostate cancer may include surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy
  • PSA testing is considered to be yearly PSA tests; not all agree this should be done
  • Identify prostate problems early is a way to reduce future prostate problems

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer of prostate gland. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland present only in men found in the pelvis, wrapped around the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body). The prostate gland secretes part of the liquid portion of the semen, or seminal fluid, which carries sperm made by the testes. The fluid is essential to reproduction.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer that develops in men other than skin cancers, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. In 2013 the American Cancer Society estimated over 238,000 men were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 29,000 men died from the disease -- though many of them had lived with the disease for years prior to their deaths.

Prostate cancer is comprised nearly always of adenocarcinoma cells -- cells which arise from glandular tissue. Cancer cells are named according to the organ in which they originate no matter where in the body we find such cells.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/4/2014

Patient Comments

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Prostate Cancer - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of prostate cancer can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Prostate Cancer - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your prostate cancer?
Prostate Cancer - Evaluation and Diagnosis Question: How was your prostate cancer diagnosed?
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests and  Digital Rectal Exams (DRE) are essential for prostate health.

Surviving Prostate Cancer

One Patient's Story

Benjamin Miller* was shocked to learn he had prostate cancer.

"I had absolutely no family history of prostate cancer," Miller says. "I was very active, had no symptoms, and had an excellent diet."

Miller has since spent a great deal of time over the past five years mentoring men who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and although he generally avoids suggesting one treatment option over another, he spends even more time answering the questions he says that doctors won't answer.