The prostate is the male reproductive gland that surrounds the urethra and produces the fluid that carries sperm. Prostate cancer originates in a man's prostate. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer is treated fairly easily when it is discovered early and remains confined to the prostate gland. Signs or symptoms, however, may not become noticeable until the more advanced stages.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is most common in men over 65. For this reason, it is important that men speak with their doctors about having regular prostate screenings. Most prostate cancer is discovered through routine screening.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
- Trouble urinating
- Increased urge to urinate
- Decreased urine flow
- Blood in the urine
- Discomfort in the pelvic region
The more aggressive the form of prostate cancer is, the more quickly it will spread. Your doctor will grade your cancer to determine how many cancerous cells are present as opposed to healthy cells, which will determine how aggressive the cancer is.
Stages of Prostate Cancer
During stage one, the cancer remains confined to the prostate gland in a microscopic area that the doctor can't feel.
During stage two, the tumor has grown larger than in stage one and can now be felt by your doctor, but it still has not spread beyond the prostate gland.
During stage three, the cancer has expanded beyond the prostate gland into nearby tissue.
During stage four, cancer cells have spread beyond the prostate to other vital organs.
Your treatment options will be determined on an individual basis, depending on what stage your cancer is in when it is detected. Procedures available to you may also be determined by other factors, such as your overall health.
- Watchful surveillance (because some cases never require treatment)
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
As with most forms of cancer, the chance of survival associated with prostate cancer depends on what stage the cancer is in when it is detected, how aggressive the cancer proves to be and which treatment options your overall health permit you to try.