Prostate cancer is cancer that begins in tissues of the prostate gland. Located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, the prostate is the male sex gland responsible for the production of semen. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there were roughly 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2009. Nearly 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime; however, it is usually diagnosed after age 40.
Fortunately, prostate cancer is one of the most treatable malignancies if it’s caught early. Routine screening has improved the diagnosis of prostate cancer in recent years. In addition, new and innovative technology helps to minimize the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, including incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ that surrounds the urethra; it produces a fluid that becomes part of semen. More than 99 percent of prostate cancers develop in the gland cells. This type of prostate cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
More rarely, prostate cancer originates in other tissues of the prostate, which is called a sarcoma.