Facts About Prostate Cancer
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland that helps make semen. Semen is the milky fluid that carries sperm from the testicles through the penis during ejaculation. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system.
The prostate is about the size and shape of a walnut. It has sections, which are called lobes. The prostate lies low in the pelvis, below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder and through the penis.
Early-stage prostate cancer means that cancer cells are found only in your prostate. Compared with many other cancers, prostate cancer grows slowly. This means that it can take 10 to 30 years before a prostate tumor gets big enough to cause symptoms or for doctors to find it. Most men who have prostate cancer will die of something other than prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer is most common in men age 65 and older, although younger men can be diagnosed with it as well.
- By age 80, more than half of all men have some cancer in their prostate.
- African American men tend to be diagnosed at younger ages and with faster-growing prostate cancer than men of other races.
Prostate cancer is most often found in early stages. When it is found early, there are a number of treatment choices available.