The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland in men that sits under the bladder. It's part of the urinary system that helps men to pass urine.
As men get older, the prostate starts to grow. This may cause problems in passing urine and may be a normal sign of aging or a sign of cancer on the prostate. Most prostate cancers are slow-growing and more severe forms of prostate cancer spread quickly. As with most cancers, prostate cancer that is not found and treated early could spread to other parts of the body.
The most common risk factors for prostate cancer are:
- Age: Being over age 65 is a big risk factor. Prostate cancer is unusual in men under 45.
- Family History: If your father, grandfather, uncle or brother has had prostate cancer, you have a greater chance of getting it.
- Race: African American men have a higher chance of getting prostate cancer than Caucasian and Hispanic men. Prostate cancer is less common in men of American Indian and Asian ethnicities.
- Genetics: Some research shows that the makeup of a man's DNA may be linked to prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer may not show any signs, but signs of possible prostate cancer may be:
- Problems in urination, including pain, weak flow, trouble starting or stopping and frequent urination.
- Blood in urine or semen
- Problems having an erection
- Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
- Weight loss
You should visit your doctor if you have any of these signs or if you are at greater risk for getting prostate cancer. Many prostate cancers can be cured if treated early.
If you have prostate cancer you will want to talk about your treatment choices with your doctor, as well as the risks and side effects of the treatment and the chances of the cancer spreading.
Source: National Cancer Institute