Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
- More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day.
- Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,500 men every year.
- 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
- Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs, such as your bladder, or travel through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones.
Doctors know that prostate cancer begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can also break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
How to Identify?
If you and your doctor decide that screening for prostate cancer is a good choice for you, your doctor will likely do a physical exam and discuss your health history.
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
What to Do?
Your doctor will develop an appropriate treatment plan for your cancer based on your age, health status, and the stage of your cancer.
If the cancer is non aggressive, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting, which is also called active surveillance. This means you’ll delay treatment but have regular checkups with your doctor to monitor the cancer.