Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland. It is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer), but it can often be treated successfully.  About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. About 1 in 35 men will die from it. More than 2 million men in the US count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.

Growths in the prostate can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

BENIGN GROWTHS (such as benign prostatic hypertrophy):

  • Are rarely a threat to life
  • Don't invade the tissues around them
  • Don't spread to other parts of the body
  • Don't spread to other parts of the body

MALIGNANT GROWTHS (prostate cancer):

  • May sometimes be a threat to life
  • Can invade nearby organs and tissues (such as the bladder or rectum)
  • Can spread to other parts of the body
  • Often can be removed but sometimes grow back

In its early stages, prostate cancer often has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be like those of an enlarged prostate or BPH. Thus, it is vital to talk to your health care provider when you have urinary symptoms.


  • Age - As men age, their risk of prostate cancer goes up.
  • Ethnicity - African–Americans are in the highest risk group.
  • Family History - Men with a family history of prostate cancer also face higher risk.
  • Smoking - Studies show prostate cancer risk may double for heavy smokers.
  • World Area - Numbers are higher in North America and Northern Europe.
  • Diet - Diet and lifestyle may affect the risk of prostate cancer.


  • Dull pain in the lower pelvic area
  • Frequent urinating
  • Trouble urinating, pain, burning, or weak urine flow
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Bone pain

There is no known way to prevent prostate cancer. But if you do things that are heart healthy, you will also keep your prostate healthy. Eating right, exercising, watching your weight, and not smoking can improve your health and help avoid prostate cancer.

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