Prostate cancer is a disease in which
malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system
located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra
(the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate
gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin
malignancy in men and is responsible for more deaths than
any other cancer, except for lung cancer. However, microscopic
cancer is found at autopsy in many if not most men. Approximately
16% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
sometime in their life.
Treatment options and prognosis depend
on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient’s
age and general health. With greater public awareness, early
detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining.
Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling
cancer patients to go on to live active and productive lives
after their treatment.