What is it?

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located in the pelvic, below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It produces a part of the semen in men.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. Because prostate cancer usually grows very slowly, not all men diagnosed require treatment.
Like most cancer types, prostatic cancer is divided into grades and stages, according to its appearance under the microscope and how much it has spread out of the prostate into the rest of your body.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Adenocarcinoma of prostate
- Hormone refractory prostate cancer
- Primary malignant neoplasm of prostate

Signs & symptoms

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years.
If signs and symptoms do appear, they usually include a weak flow of urine or frequent urination.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by prostate cancer or by other conditions such as BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy).

Diagnosis

The doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical exam inducing a digital rectal exam to assess your prostate. The following tests will be done next:
-Blood tests including PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels
-Imaging test such as transrectal Ultrasound or MRI
-Transrectal biopsy- a small piece of the abnormal tissues is taken out so it can be viewed under a microscope. The result will determine your Gleason score

Treatment

Not all prostate cancer require treatment. If the cancer is not advanced, and it grows slowly, your doctor might offer active surveillance in which routine tests will be done to make sure your cancer isn’t starting to grow more quickly.
Other options include:
-Surgery- to remove the prostate gland
-Radiation therapy- high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation used to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
-Chemotherapy- medication that will kill cancerous cells or stop their growing.
-Hormone therapy- that removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

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