About Prostate Cancer

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The prostate is a gland, actually an organ, which is comprised of glandular and muscular tissue with ducts opening into the prostatic portion of the urethra in the male reproductive system. It produces some of fluid that makes up the semen, the thick fluid that carries sperm. The muscular tissue provides the force to push the ejaculation through the penis. Normally a walnut-sized gland, the prostate is located beneath a man’s bladder. The upper part of the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder, passes through the prostate. Prostate function is regulated by testosterone, a male sex hormone produced mainly in the testicles.

Key Concepts:

What is cancer?

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic systems. For a detailed discussion, see: The National Cancer Institute website.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a malignant growth which usually starts in the glandular cells of the prostate. This type of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is normally slow growing but some variants can be very aggressive. If left untreated, tumors can extend beyond the prostate into surrounding tissue. Prostate cancer cells can also spread via the blood and lymph systems to pelvic bones and/or lymph nodes, or beyond.