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About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer. When diagnosed at an early stage, it can usually be treated successfully. In fact, when prostate cancer is caught early, nearly 100% of men diagnosed today will be alive in five years.

Blue ribbon - symbol of prostate cancer

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland in the male reproductive system. It sits just below the bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder.

The prostate is necessary for reproduction and helps make some of the fluid in semen. It also produces prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a substance that may increase if a man has prostate cancer. Elevated PSA levels don’t always mean cancer. PSA levels can also increase due to age, recent sexual or physical activity, or an enlarged or inflamed prostate gland.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs when prostate cells stop behaving normally. Normal cells grow, divide, and die on a regular basis. Sometimes, something goes wrong with this process, and the cells don’t die as they should. Instead, they create a growth or tumor. Tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Most prostate cancer grows very slowly, and many men never know they have the disease.

However, some prostate cancers are aggressive. It can spread from the prostate to the bone, other organs, and the lymph system. When this happens, the disease is called metastatic prostate cancer. If prostate cancer spreads, or metastasizes, to the bone, you have prostate cancer cells in the bone, not bone cancer.

Prostate cancer facts & statistics

Knowing how many men are affected by prostate cancer will help you better understand the disease.

1 in 8
will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes.
men are living with with prostate cancer in the U.S.
American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year
Facts and statistics
YouTube Video Preview: Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer screening & diagnosis

Prostate cancer screenings like the PSA blood test can help detect prostate cancer at an early stage often before there are any signs and symptoms.

Why early detection of prostate cancer is so important

Early detection of prostate cancer gives patients the best chance of living longer. The 5-year survival rate is over 99 percent when prostate cancer is caught early.

When prostate cancer is caught at an early stage, it typically doesn't show any symptoms. Screening tests like the PSA blood test can detect cancer at this stage when it is most treatable.

When symptoms do appear, they can include frequent or painful urination, difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, or painful ejaculation. Sometimes they can be mistaken for other disorders. Common symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include pelvic or back pain, leg weakness, anemia, and weight loss.

It is important to understand your personal risk and talk with your doctor about routine testing. Early detection saves lives.

Speedometer with the needle pointing to high risk

Prostate cancer risk factors

All men are at risk for prostate cancer, but some factors such as race and family history can increase your likelihood. Find out if you're at risk.

Additional prostate cancer resources

For further information about prostate cancer, take a look at the resources below.