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The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland located in the pelvis area of men. This gland is positioned near the bladder. Doctors can examine this gland by using a digital rectal exam.
Roughly one out of nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime in the United States. This cancer is formed in the small walnut-shaped gland. Roughly 191,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.
Not all growths on the prostate gland become cancerous. Benign growths — for example, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — are rarely found to be life-threatening. These types of growths do not spread to any other body part or tissue. They can be removed, however, they can also grow slowly back. Although this is a rare event.
Prostate cancer is caused by malignant growths. These growths can sometimes be life-threatening. A malignant growth can spread to other tissues and organs. If this type of growth is found in the prostate — it could spread to the rectum or bladder.
They can also spread to other parts of the body. For instance, to the bone or lymph nodes. These growths can be removed. However, they sometimes can grow back.
The cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the prostate tumor. They can do this by traveling through the lymph nodes or blood vessels.
When cancer cells spread from their original place — the new tumor has the same type of abnormal cells as the primary tumor.
This type of cancer does not always produce signs or symptoms in its beginning stages. Advanced cancer can produce symptoms and signs. For example, blood in the urine, trouble urinating, and decreased force in the stream of the urine.
It can also cause weight loss for no reason, bone pain, erectile dysfunction, or blood in the semen. It is advised for anyone experiencing any of these issues to see a doctor.
Men can begin growing prostate cancer cells after the age of 40. It is extremely rare for it to develop prior to the age of 40.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Mayo Clinic: Prostate cancer
Urology Care Foundation: Prostate Cancer
Featured Image by Nephron Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inline Image by Griersonj5 Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License