What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer means the cancer that is initiated when cells start developing out of control inside the prostate gland. The prostate is a gland found exclusively in men which is located below the bladder and in front of rectum. It produces a fluid that is part of semen that nourishes and carries sperm. Just behind the prostate, there are glands called seminal vesicles which make up most of the semen fluid. The urethra, is a tube-like structure that takes urine and semen out of the body through penis passing through center of the prostate.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer forms in men. This cancer grows slowly and is confined to prostate gland initially, where it does not cause any significant risk or damage. Although certain types of prostate cancer, develop slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, while other forms are aggressive prostate cancer diagnosis and can spread rapidly. There is a better chance of successful treatment when prostate cancer is confined to prostate gland and detected early.
Adenocarcinoma is the most common histology found in prostate cancer. Other less common histologic types include neuroendocrine prostate cancer and small cell prostate cancer. Such rare variants appear to be more aggressive, produce less Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), and spread outside the prostate.
Compared to other types of cancer, prostate cancer is rare and unusual. This is because a lot of prostate tumors do not spread to other parts of the body rapidly. Many prostate cancers develop very slowly, and for years they do not cause signs or problems. Even when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it can often be managed for long periods with good health and quality of life. However, with the existing treatments if cancer cannot be controlled, it can cause symptoms such as pain and fatigue and can sometimes lead to death. Monitoring the growth over time is a vital aspect of treating prostate cancer to find out whether it is growing gradually or rapidly. Depending on growth history, the doctor should be able to determine the best possible treatment options available.
Physicians know that prostate cancer occurs when the prostate cells are abnormal. Mutations in the DNA of abnormal cells allow the cells to expand and divide faster than ordinary cells do. The abnormal cells continue to live when other cells die. These cells that accumulate into a tumor that can expand to invade surrounding tissue. Many abnormal cells can also split off and spread to other parts of the body (prostate cancer metastasis).
What causes prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is caused by changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. There are various prostate cancer causes including:
- Increasing Age
- Family history of prostate cancer
- Geographical distribution
- High testosterone levels
- Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)
- Genome changes