Prostate Cancer Information

What is Prostate Cancer?

It’s easier to understand prostate cancer information if you first understand how the prostate works. The prostate is a male sex gland. It produces a thick fluid that forms part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder.

The prostate needs male hormones to function. The main male hormone is testosterone, which is made mainly by the testicles. Some male hormones are produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands.

Find additional prostate cancer information from Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

What Is Cancer?

Cancer is a group of many different diseases that have some important things in common. They all affect cells, the body's basic unit of life. It is important to know about normal cells and what happens when cells become cancerous.

The body is made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This orderly process helps keep the body healthy.

If the cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed, they form too much tissue. Excess tissue can form a mass, called a tumor. Excess tissue can be benign or malignant.

  • Benign tissue is not cancer. The cells do not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

  • Malignant tissue is cancer. The cancer cells divide out of control. They can invade and destroy nearby healthy tissue. Also, cancer cells can break away from the tumor they form and enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system, This is how cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the abnormal growth of benign prostate cells. In BPH, the prostate grows larger and pushes against the urethra and bladder, blocking the normal flow of urine. More than half of the men in the United States between the ages of 60 and 70 and as many as 90 percent between the ages of 70 and 90 have symptoms of BPH. Although this condition is seldom a threat to life, it may require treatment to relieve symptoms.

Most cancers are named for the type of cell or organ in which they begin. Cancer that begins in the prostate is called primary prostate cancer (or prostatic cancer). Prostate cancer may remain in the prostate gland, or it may spread to nearby lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may also spread to the bones, bladder, rectum, and other organs.

When prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, the new tumor has the same malignant cells and the same name as the primary tumor. For example, if prostate cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the new tumor are prostate cancer cells. The disease is metastatic prostate cancer; it is not bone cancer.

If you would like to learn more about prostate camcer, the treatments used to treat it, possible symptoms to watch for nad a variety of other helpful information, please take some time to explore this site.

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