Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in male reproductive system that produces the seminal fluid. In the United States, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer affecting 1 in 9 men in their lifetime. When detected early, many prostate cancers can be treated successfully.
Cancer is multifactorial, meaning there is no singular cause for the development of cancer in an individual. Prostate cancer begins when some cells in in the prostate become abnormal and divide and grow more rapidly than normal cells. While normal cells continue to grow, divide, and die on a regular schedule, these abnormal cells do not die off and instead create growths or tumors. Although some growths and tumors can be benign and not lead to the development of cancer, other malignant tumors and growths can be cancerous.
There is no known cause for why some cells begin to grow abnormally and result in prostate cancer in any given man, however risk factors such as increasing age, family history of prostate cancer, ethnicity, and diet risk can increase one’s likelihood for developing prostate cancer.
In early stages, prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms. Screening tests are available to help determine whether further tests for prostate cancer are needed or follow-up screening tests are recommended. All men are at risk for developing prostate cancer, so speak with your doctor to determine when and what screening test is right for you.