(Cancer of the Prostate; Prostatic Carcinoma)
DefinitionProstate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the prostate gland. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate makes a fluid that is part of semen.
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CausesCancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant growths. These growths can invade nearby tissues. Cancer that has invaded nearby tissues can then spread to other parts of the body.It is not clear exactly what causes these problems in the cells, but it is probably a combination of genetics and environment.
Risk FactorsProstate cancer is more common in men who are aged 55 years and older. It is also more common in black men than white men. Other factors that may increase your chance of prostate cancer include:
- Family history of prostate cancer, especially father or brother
- Family history of prostate cancer diagnosed at a young age
- A high-fat diet
SymptomsProstate cancer may cause:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Not able to urinate
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
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