Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer


Prostate cancer is a cancerous tumor in the prostate gland, a small walnut-sized gland in men that makes seminal fluid, which helps carry sperm out of the body. The prostate is located beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out through the penis.

Prostate tumors can be benign or cancerous. With benign tumors, the prostate gets bigger and squeezes the urethra, interrupting the normal flow of urine. This condition, called benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH, is common and not usually life threatening. Prostate cancer -- one of the most common kinds of cancer in men -- can spread beyond the prostate gland and be life threatening.

Prostate cancer is the third most
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Some men find this test embarrassing, but it is quick, relatively painless, and helps find many prostate cancers.
PSA test -- a blood test measuring the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Prostate cancer cells make higher amounts of PSA, so measuring PSA levels may help find cancer while it is still microscopic. However, finding higher levels of PSA does not always mean that a man has cancer. Benign conditions such as an enlarged prostate can also raise PSA levels.
If either the DRE or PSA test suggests that cancer might be present, your doctor may recommend the following tests:

Transrectal ultrasound -- using a small probe inserted into the rectum, sound waves help get a visual image of the prostate.
Biopsy of the prostate -- the doctor gets a tissue sample through the rectum and examines it for cancerous cells.
If the biopsy shows the presence of cancer, you may need more tests to see if the cancer has spread:

Imaging tests -- computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may pinpoint the location of cancer that has spread beyond the prostate.
Bone scans and x-rays -- these tests look for spread of cancer to the bones.
Lymph node biopsy -- a surgical procedure to find out if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Preventive Care

The American Cancer Society suggests men talk with their doctors about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening. While the PSA test and

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