Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer at a glance

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • Fortunately, there are tests that are strong indicators of prostate cancer.
  • When detected early, prostate cancer is among the most successfully treatable cancers with a variety of choices for treatment.
  • Prostate cancer progresses very slowly, giving doctors and patients a very good potential for successful treatment.
  • Symptoms include urinary problems like weak or very slow urination, or urine flow that stops and starts, or pain or burning during urination; difficulty having an erection; blood in urine or semen; frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
  • Prostate cancer is more common among black men.

Statistics

In 2006,the latest year statistics are available, 203,415 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 28,372 men died from it. According to recent estimates, 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in 2010 and 32,050 would die from the disease.

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that builds up in a gland of the male reproductive system, the prostate. Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that is feared by men across the world. Prostate cancer information is essential for those who don’t have an advanced knowledge of the disease. It’s vital to know everything about it since all men are at risk.

About the Prostate Gland

ProstateThe prostate, part of a man’s reproductive system, is an organ located in front of the rectum and under the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra. A healthy prostate is about the size of a walnut. If the prostate grows too large, it squeezes the urethra. This may slow or stop the flow of urine from the bladder to the penis.

Since prostate is a gland, it makes part of the seminal fluid. During ejaculation, the seminal fluid helps carry sperm out of the man’s body as part of semen. Androgens, the male hormones make the prostate grow. The testicles are the main source of male hormones, including testosterone. The adrenal gland also makes testosterone, but in small amounts.

Prostate Cancer Cells

Cancer begins in cells, the building blocks that make up tissues. Tissues make up the organs of the body. Normal cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die and new cells take their place.

Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when the body doesn’t need them, and old or damaged cells don’t die as they should. The buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Prostate growths can be benign or malignant.

Benign Tumors

  • are rarely a threat to life
  • can be removed and probably won’t grow back
  • don’t invade the tissues around them
  • don’t spread to other parts of the body

Malignant Tumors

  • may be a threat to life
  • often can be removed, but sometimes grow back
  • can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs
  • can spread to other parts of the body

Metastasis

Cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the prostate tumor. They enter blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into all tissues of the body. The cancer cells can attach to other tissues and grow to form new tumors that may damage those tissues. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease. Research has shown that men with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop prostate cancer. These are:

  • Age over 65: Age is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are over 65. This disease is rare in men under 45.
  • Family history: Your risk is higher if your father, brother, or son had prostate cancer.
  • Race: Prostate cancer is more common among black men than white or Hispanic/Latino men. It’s less common among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native men.
  • Certain prostate changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk of prostate cancer. These prostate cells look abnormal under a microscope.
  • Certain genome changes: Researchers have found specific regions on certain chromosomes that are linked to the risk of prostate cancer. According to recent studies, if a man has a genetic change in one or more of these regions, the risk of prostate cancer may be increased. The risk increases with the number of genetic changes that are found. Also, other studies have shown an elevated risk of prostate cancer among men with changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Read more: Treatment of Prostate Cancer

If you have symptoms, increased risk factors or have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, contact us to request an appointment with Diablo Valley Oncology’s doctors to obtain a second opinion or to learn more about treatment options.