Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is the clinical term for a cancerous tumor on the prostate gland. As prostate cancer grows, it may spread to the interior of the gland, to tissues near the prostate, to sac-like structures attached to the prostate (seminal vesicles), and to distant parts of the body (e.g., bones, liver, lungs). Prostate cancer confined to the gland often is treated successfully.
The prostate is about the size of a large walnut. It is located close to the rectum just below the bladder at the base of the penis. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube
that carries urine and semen through the penis.Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. It usually grows slowly and can often be cured or managed successfully.
Any man can develop prostate cancer. Age, race, family history, and diet may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
What Are the Key Statistics About Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2008 about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 35 will die of it. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
Causes and Risk Factors
Scientists don’t know exactly what causes prostate cancer. They cannot explain why one man gets prostate cancer and another does not. However, they have been able to identify
some risk factors that are associated with the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of getting a disease.
Most of the time, prostate cancer does not produce symptoms in its early stages. Approximately 40 percent of prostate cancers are not diagnosed until they have spread beyond the
prostate. Screening tests are usually the first step in diagnosing prostate cancer. When prostate cancer is detected early — when it is still confined to the prostate gland —
there is an excellent chance of successful treatment with minimal or short-term side effects. Mayo Clinic has many tools to help clarify abnormal findings. Read more about
prostate cancer diagnosis.
Prostate cancer may be localised (only affecting the prostate), or it may be locally advanced or advanced (the cancer has moved outside the prostate).
If your doctors believe the cancer just affects the gland, they will discuss different kinds of treatment with you. These could be
· Active surveillance (sometimes called watchful waiting) – where the state of the cancer is closely observed and treatment started only when, or if, necessary
· External Beam Radiotherapy – where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
· Surgery – where the prostate is removed
Treatment for prostate cancer may damage nerves and muscles near the prostate and the bowel and this may cause unwanted side effects.
The side effects of prostate cancer treatment include:
· Fertility problems
· Urinary incontinence
· Bowel problems
· Loss of interest in sex
· Change in body image
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