Prostate Cancer – Information on Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a gland. It helps make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. The prostate surrounds the tube that carries urine away from the bladder and out of the body. A young man’s prostate is about the size of a walnut. It slowly grows larger with age. If it gets too large, it can cause problems. This is very common after age 50. The older men get, the more likely they are to have prostate trouble.

Prostate cancer is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells that results in the formation of a tumor in the prostate gland. Prostate, the walnut sized gland, is a part of the reproductive system which lies deep in the pelvis. It is located in front of the rectum and underneath the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra, (the urine tube running from the bladder, through the prostate and the penis). It contains gland cells that produce some of the seminal fluid, which protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen and supports the ejaculatory ducts, or sperm tubes. The prostate continues to grow till a man reaches adulthood and is maintained after it reaches normal size as long as male hormones are produced.

The growth of prostate cells and the way the prostate gland works is dependent on the male sex hormone, testosterone, which is produced in the testicles.

Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. This cancer can occur only in men, as the prostate is exclusively of the male reproductive tract. It is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, where it is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer. However, many men who develop prostate cancer never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. Many factors, including genetics and diet, have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer.

NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) is yet another common form of cancer. This refers to a the growth of a large group of cancers that affect the immunity system. The symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are those of fever and weight loss, a sure sign that the immunity system has been affected. This is a cancer that can affect any age group, and its treatment is completely dependent on the stage of detection of the cancer.

Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. If prostate cancer is detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland — you have a better chance of successful treatment.

Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder. This may cause difficulty in urination or can interfere with sexual function. The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be similar to symptoms of prostate cancer.

Radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the whole prostate gland and the nearby lymph nodes. Most men who have this surgery are under general anesthesia (puts you into a sleep-like state). After the prostate gland is taken out, a catheter (a narrow rubber tube) is put through the penis into the bladder to carry urine out of the body until the area heals.

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