The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. The prostate is just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate, from the bladder to the penis, letting urine flow out of the body. The prostate functions to secrete fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it’s expelled with sperm as semen.The vasa deferentia (singular: vas deferens) bring sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles. The seminal vesicles contribute fluid to semen during ejaculation. As men age, prostate issues become very common.
The term “cancer” refers to a condition in which cells accumulate uncontrollably—the ability to regulate cell growth or death is lost. So instead of dying as they should, prostate cancer cells live longer than normal cells and form masses of abnormal cells known as tumors. Primary tumors are the original tumors; secondary tumors occur if the original cancer spreads to other locations. In most cases, prostate cancer is relatively slow-growing, which means that it typically takes a number of years to become large enough to be detectable, and even longer to spread beyond the prostate. A small percentage of men experience more rapidly growing, aggressive forms of prostate cancer. It’s difficult to know for sure which prostate cancers will grow slowly and which will grow aggressively. This uncertainty can complicate treatment decisions. As with all cancers, “cure” rates for prostate cancer describe the percentage of patients remaining disease-free for a specific time. In general, the earlier the cancer is caught and treated, the more likely the patient will remain disease-free. Approximately 90% of all prostate cancers are detected in the local and regional stages, so the cure rate is very high: Nearly 100% of men diagnosed and treated at this stage will be disease-free after five years.However, prostate cancer is still a deadly disease. A man with prostate cancer has a 1 in 7 chance of dying from the disease, and nearly 88 U.S. men die from it every day. Determining which men will die from prostate cancer and which men will die with prostate cancer is an active area of research.
- The American Cancer Society Guide to Prostate Cancer
- The Prostate Health Playbook
- Is Prostate Cancer Screening Right for Me?
- Prostate Cancer Treatment:Surgery
- Prostate Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy
- Prostate Cancer Treatment:Radiation Therapy
- Prostate Cancer Treatment:Hormonal Therapy
- Prostate Cancer Treatment: Incontinence Issues