Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder in front of the rectum) grow and multiply uncontrollably, damaging surrounding tissue and interfering with the normal function of the prostate. The cells can then spread to other parts of the body. Mostly occurring in older men, prostate cancer is the most common form of male cancer, with approximately 186,320 new cases diagnosed in 2008. Your best chance for surviving prostate cancer is detecting it early. When found early, there is nearly a 100 percent chance for cure.
Men with prostate cancer may have one or more of these symptoms:
- Painful or burning urination
- Inability to urinate or difficulty in starting to urinate
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Trouble emptying the bladder completely
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Continual pain in the lower back, pelvis or thighs
None of these symptoms are specific for cancer, and most men with prostate cancer have none of them. However, they may point to other health problems. Their presence should prompt men to seek medical evaluation, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) of the prostate and serum PSA, from a urologist or other physician.