About Prostate Cancer
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer statistics in 2017
- About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
- Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who received a prostate cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives are still alive today.
- About 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed in men 65 or older. Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40.
Can prostate cancer be prevented?
You may not be able to prevent prostate cancer, but here are lifestyle habits that may help lower your risk:
- Eating at least 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day
- Being physically active
- Staying at a healthy weight
About the prostate
The prostate is a small gland found in the male reproductive system. It produces some of the fluid found in semen.
The prostate is about the size of a walnut in younger men, but can grow in size as men age. It is found just below the bladder, directly in front of the rectum. The urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis, goes through the center of the prostate. 
About prostate cancer
Cancer is a disease where cells, which are the building blocks of the tissues in the body, become abnormal. These abnormal cells multiply and can spread throughout the body. 
Cancer can grow in the prostate as a number of small tumors scattered throughout the prostate gland. 
- Tumors usually develop in older men and grow slowly. 
- Prostate cancer can develop in younger men, especially African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer. 
- Some prostate cancer tumors are slow growing, do not spread, and do not lead to death. However, some grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body, which may result in death. 
Today’s methods of finding prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment have led to improvements in survival rates for this disease. 
Like many cancers, the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown. There are, however, a few known risk factors that have been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer risk increases with age.
- The average age at diagnosis is 66.
Family history (genetics)
- The risk of developing prostate cancer increases in men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer.
- A family history of breast or ovarian cancer is also a risk factor for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer symptoms
- Difficulties with starting and stopping urination
- The need to urinate more often than usual, particularly at night
- Sudden urges to urinate
- Dribbling urine
- Pain or burning sensation when passing urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain during ejaculation
- Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips
Prostate cancer diagnosis
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): The doctor feels for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test: Higher levels of PSA, detectable with a blood test, can occur in men with prostate cancer. They also occur in men with a benign enlargement or an inflammation of the prostate.
- Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS): Ultrasound waves are used to visualize the prostate.
- Biopsy: If either the DRE or PSA tests are abnormal, a biopsy may be taken. Small pieces of the prostate are sampled and examined under a microscope for cancer cells. A biopsy is a definitive way of diagnosing prostate cancer.
- American Cancer Society, Prostate Cancer website. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/8793.00.pdf. Accessed July 2017.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network, NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016: National Comprehensive Cancer Network website. https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/prostate/index.html#10. Accessed July 2017.
- Center for Disease Control, Prostate Cancer website. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/index.htm. Accessed July 2017.
- Carroll PR, Carducci MA, Zeitman AL, Rothaermel JM. Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer: A Guide for Men and Their Families. Santa Monica, CA: Prostate Cancer Foundation; 2005. http://www.prostatecareqld.com.au/download-books_files/click-here-to-download-report-to-the-nation-on-prostate-cancer-a-guide-for-men-and-their-families.pdf.
- NIH, National Cancer Institute, Prostate Cancer Patient website. https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq#link/_120; https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping. Accessed July 2017