Prostate Cancer - Introduction
Prostate cancer is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells that results in the formation of a tumor in
the prostate gland. Prostate, the walnut sized gland is a part of the reproductive system which lies deep
in the pelvis. It is located in front of the rectum and underneath the urinary bladder and surrounds the
urethra, (the urine tube running from the bladder, through the prostate and the penis). . It has gland cells
that create some of the seminal fluid, which supports the ejaculatory ducts, or sperm tubes, and protects
and nourishes the sperm cells in semen. As long as male hormones are produced, the prostate is maintained
after it reaches its normal size and continues to grow until a man reaches adulthood.
Prostate cancer begins most often in the outer part of the prostate. . It is the most prevalent type
of cancer in men over 50. The majority of men's cancers progress very slowly. In fact, a large number
of affected men won't even be aware of their illness. The majority of patients with early prostate
cancer can live years without experiencing any issues because it is limited to the prostate gland itself.
In some cases,it may spread from the prostate to nearby lymph nodes, bones or other organs. This spread is called
metastasis. The posterior prostate gland is where the majority of prostate cancers begin, while the remaining
Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Often it is diagnosed during the workup for an elevated
PSA noticed during a routine checkup. Sometimes, however, prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often similar
to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hypertrophy. These include frequent urination, increased
urination at night, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, blood in the urine, and
Prostate cancer is associated with urinary dysfunction as the prostate gland surrounds the prostatic urethra.
Changes within the gland therefore directly affect urinary function. Because the vas deferens deposits
seminal fluid into the prostatic urethra, and secretions from the prostate gland itself are included in
semen content, prostate cancer may also cause problems with sexual function and performance, such as difficulty
achieving erection or painful ejaculation.
Advanced prostate cancer
Advanced prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body and this may cause additional symptoms.
The most common symptom is bone pain, often in the vertebrae (bones of the spine), pelvis or ribs. Spread
of cancer into other bones such as the femur is usually to the proximal part of the bone. Prostate cancer
in the spine can also compress the spinal cord, causing leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence.