Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the prostate. The prostate, a gland found only in men, produces fluid that forms some the elements of semen and, because it is adjacent to the bladder, when enlarged it may affect urine control. The prostate is located in the anterior of the pelvis, under the bladder and in front of the rectum. Most prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers occurring in men, particularly in men over the age of 65 years.

In the early stages, prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms. More advanced prostate cancer may cause one or more of the following:

  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain

The exact underlying cause or causes of prostate cancer are unknown. Suggested factors that may increase the risk of prostate cancer include age, race or ethnicity, and family history. Prostate cancer is best treated when discovered early, particularly while still confined to the prostate. Regular screening for this cancer includes a rectal exam and blood studies for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Many prostate cancers grow slowly and may not require treatment, other types are aggressive and spread quickly. Prostate cancer that metastasizes may respond to treatment, but is far less likely to be cured.

Treatment options for prostate cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • Active surveillance
  • Brachytherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radical prostatectomy