Prostate cancer

Alternative Names

Cancer – prostate; Biopsy – prostate; Prostate biopsy; Gleason score

Definition of Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.

Symptoms

The PSA blood test is often done to screen men for prostate cancer. Because of PSA testing, most prostate cancers are now found before they cause any symptoms.

Signs and tests

Prostate biopsy is the only test that can confirm the diagnosis. Tissue from the prostate is viewed underneath a microscope. Biopsy results are reported using something called a Gleason grade and a Gleason score.

Treatment

The best treatment for your prostate cancer may not always be clear. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend one treatment because of what is known about your type of cancer and your risk factors. Other times, your doctor will talk with you about two or more treatments that could be good for your cancer.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome varies greatly. It is mostly affected by whether the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland and how abnormal the cancer cells are (the Gleason score) when you are diagnosed.

Review

Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/23/2010

Male reproductive anatomy
Male urinary tract
BPH
Prostate cancer
PSA blood test
Prostatectomy  - series
TURP  - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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