Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy in men and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer, except for lung cancer. However, microscopic cancer is found at autopsy in many if not most men. Approximately 16% of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life.
Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient’s age and general health. With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining. Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling cancer patients to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment.
Reprinted with permission, courtesy Intuitive Surgical. Posted: March 22, 2006. Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. More Info