Prostate Cancer

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It lies just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men and is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm and may need minimal or no treatment. Other types are aggressive and can spread quickly (metastasize).
The stages of prostate cancer are:
  • Stage I signifies very early cancer that's confined to a small area of the prostate. When viewed under a microscope, the cancer cells aren't considered aggressive.
  • Stage II cancer may still be small but may be considered aggressive when cancer cells are viewed under the microscope. Or cancer may be larger and may have grown to involve both sides of the prostate gland.
  • Stage III cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.
  • Stage IV cancer has grown to invade nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs.
Risk factors
  • Age: With age, the chance of developing prostate cancer increases. Nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65, and nearly one-half of prostate cancer deaths occur in men initially diagnosed after 75.
  • Race: Prostate cancer is about twice as common among African-American men as it is among white American men
  • Environmental exposures: Some studies show an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who are farmers or who are exposed to the metal cadmium while making batteries, welding or electroplating.
  • Family history of prostate cancer. Having family members with prostate cancer increases the risk of developing this disease. 
  • Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that's more difficult to treat.
To diagnose prostate cancer, pathologists typically first examine a biopsy for abnormal, cancerous cells. Cancer cells look different than normal prostate cells and an experienced pathologist can very reliably make this diagnosis. Other tools to help make sure the biopsy is made in the right place, doctors may use a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or transrectal ultrasound, when a probe the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum and high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off the prostate to create a picture of the prostate called a sonogram.
There are several treatments for prostate cancer, even at various stages of the disease. Some options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, like most cancers. 
  • The rate of prostate cancer is about 74% higher in African-American men than white men. 
  • African-American men are 2x more likely to die from prostate cancer.
  • About 161,360 men in the U.S. will get prostate cancer in 2017. 
  • About 26,730 men will die of prostate cancer in 2017.
  • Nearly all men with prostate cancer survive at least 5 years, while 98% survive at least 10 years.
  • Prostate cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in men in the U.S. after colorectal and lung cancer
  • 1 in 7 men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime.
prostate cancer about

  • "Prostate Cancer." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 03 Mar. 2015. Web. 21 May 2017.
  • "Prostate Cancer." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Feb. 2017. Web. 21 May 2017.
  • "Prostate Cancer - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 21 May 2017.
  • "Prostate Cancer." Prostate Cancer | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Health Systems, n.d. Web. 21 May 2017.
  • "Prostate Cancer: Statistics." Prostate Cancer: Statistics | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Health System, n.d. Web. 21 May 2017.


Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 180,890 new diagnoses of prostate cancer in 2016. Prostate cancer affects 1 out of 7 males and is most common in males over the age of 50. However, on a happier note, most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer still live to tell the tale.
prostate cancer awareness


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