What is Prostate Cancer?

prostate cancer

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system located just below the bladder. The prostate is small, about the size of a walnut, and it produces fluid found in semen.

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in men over 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 50.

Prostate Cancer Risk and Prevention

Men who develop prostate cancer are more likely than other men to have certain risk factors for the disease. A risk factor is something that increases the chance of developing a disease.

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, certain factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer:

  • Age. Prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 50. The risk for prostate cancer increases as men get older .
  • Family history of prostate cancer. Men who have a brother or father with prostate cancer have a higher risk for prostate cancer.
  • Race. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than white men, and it occurs at an earlier age in African American men.

This does not mean men who have one or more of these factors will develop prostate cancer, but they should speak with a physician about their risk.

Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment

Men who have conditions that put them at risk for prostate cancer may benefit from consulting with their physician to determine their risk. If they are at a higher risk for prostate cancer, they may consider getting screened for prostate cancer.

Learn More About Prostate Cancer Treatment at Penn

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer or an abnormal PSA, you're probably wondering what to do next. Look to Penn's Abramson Cancer Center for the most advanced cancer program in the region - for full insight on all your options.

Our team will:

  • Help you understand your PSA levels and guide you towards the next steps you should take
  • Ensure you have the most accurate diagnosis using advanced diagnostics
  • Offer you the most advanced surgical and radiation treatment options – all in one place
  • Answer your questions about the potential side effects of all your options
  • Provide an unbiased opinion on your best treatment option

Call 800-789-7366 (PENN) to schedule a consultation with a Penn prostate cancer specialist.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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