Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of unhealthy cells that affects the walnut-sized prostate gland in men. This gland is located beneath the bladder and adjacent to the rectum and is responsible for producing seminal fluid. Prostate cancer can be small and benign or large and aggressive. Symptoms and treatment options will vary depending upon the aggressiveness and stage of the prostate cancer, as well as the health and age of the patient.
Prostate cancer in its early stages, may produce little to no symptoms. In later stages of the cancer – or in earlier stages in which tumors are large – difficulty with urination, weak urine stream, blood in the urine or semen, swelling of the lower extremities, pelvic discomfort and bone pain are common symptoms.
Prostate cancer diagnosis comes in a series of steps. In the first step screening for the cancer takes place. During screening, a digital rectal exam allows the physician to feel for abnormalities in the shape, size or texture of the prostate. A prostate-specific antigen blood test detects the presence of increased prostate-specific antigens in the bloodstream. This increase can be an indication of prostate cancer. When the results of screening indicate a likelihood of cancer, further testing takes place. An ultrasound provides doctors with a visual of the prostate and any tumors that may be forming. Any tumors found may undergo a biopsy in which a small sample of the tissue is taken for testing. Continue reading for information on Causes . . .