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Diseases & Conditions A - Z
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Prostate Cancer Overview

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ that wraps around the urethra and sit

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ that wraps around the urethra and sits just underneath the bladder. It is a part of the male reproductive system and makes the chemical components of semen. Women do not have prostate glands and, therefore, cannot get prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. It is also the second leading cause of death in American men. In 2010, nearly 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and more than 32,000 men will die of prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. However, the prognosis for prostate cancer is generally positive, with a 5-year survival rate of nearly 100 percent and a 10-year survival rate of 91 percent. As with any cancer, early diagnosis is vital to survival. As methods of detection and treatment become have become more sophisticated, many prostate cancers are now found in the early stages.

Types of Prostate Cancer

Almost all prostate-cancer cases are adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that originates in glands. Most other types of cancer that are found in the prostate originate in other parts of the body. They are implanted in the prostate when cells from the primary cancer travel in the blood to "seed" the prostate.

Content licensed from:

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed : Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
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