Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland. The prostate, a gland found only in males, is located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. Cancer is a disease in which cells grow out of control within the body, invading and destroying tissues and organs.
The prostate gland surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that drains the bladder. In an adult man, the prostate is about the size of a walnut.
The prostate is one of three glands necessary for reproduction. The prostate produces a sticky, milky fluid of acids and enzymes. This fluid makes up about 15 percent of the total volume of the semen and helps to sustain the sperm cells that are created in the testicles. The prostate is surrounded by muscle, which contracts to ejaculate this fluid.
Prostate cancer begins in the cells of the prostate gland and can spread to other parts of the body, including the bladder, colon, rectum, and bone.
Need To Know:
Understanding the Terms
Soon after prostate cancer is diagnosed, it must be determined:
- How much cancer has developed in the prostate
- Where it is located
- How quickly it is developing
- Whether it has spread beyond the prostate
The best chance at curing prostate cancer is to detect it early, before it metastasizes. Fortunately, a simple blood test and physical exam can help discover prostate cancer at its earliest stages.
Nice To Know:
Is prostate enlargement the same as prostate cancer?
No. As a man ages, the prostate can increase in size many times without becoming cancerous. The medical term for noncancerous prostate enlargement is
Prostate enlargement is not the same as prostate cancer, and BPH cannot "turn into" prostate cancer. However, BPH and prostate cancer can exist together. Even if cancer is not present, an enlarged prostate may cause other problems, such as interfering with a man's ability to urinate.
For further information about prostate enlargement, go to Prostate Enlargement.
Facts About Prostate Cancer