Albany Internal Medicine

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Key Points

  • Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.
  • Signs of prostate cancer include a weak flow of urine or frequent urination.
  • Tests that examine the prostate and blood are used to detect (find) and diagnose prostate cancer.
  • Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

Prostate CancerProstate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.

Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men. In the U.S., about 1 out of 5 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland makes fluid that is part of the semen.

As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder. This may cause trouble urinating or sexual problems. The condition is calledbenign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be like symptoms of prostate cancer.

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer (level of PSA, Gleason score, grade of the tumor, how much of the prostate is affected by the cancer, and whether the cancer has spread to other places in the body).
  • The patient’s age.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).

    Treatment options also may depend on the following:
  • Whether the patient has other health problems.
  • The expected side effects of treatment.
  • Past treatment for prostate cancer.
  • The wishes of the patient.

Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it.


 
Reference: National Cancer Institute
Last updated: February 11, 2016