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Cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum).
Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men.
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It lies just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland makes fluid that is part of the semen.
Anatomy of the male reproductive and urinary systems, showing the prostate, testicles, bladder, and other organs.
Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by prostate cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder. This may cause trouble urinating or sexual problems. The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be like symptoms of prostate cancer.
Normal prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A normal prostate does not block the flow of urine from the bladder. An enlarged prostate presses on the bladder and urethra and blocks the flow of urine.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Digital rectal exam (DRE). The doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to check for anything abnormal.
Transrectal ultrasound. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to check the prostate. The probe bounces sound waves off body tissues to make echoes that form a sonogram (computer picture) of the prostate.
There are two types of biopsy procedures used to diagnose prostate cancer
Transrectal biopsy. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to show where the tumour is. Then a needle is inserted through the rectum into the prostate to remove tissue from the prostate.
NETs in the testes and prostate are usually only found during tests for more common cancers. As with NETs of the female system, testicular and prostatic neuroendocrine cancers can be classified as carcinomas or tumours, depending on how cells look under a microscope.
NB. a high percentage of prostate cancers contain neuroendocrine tumour cells - it has been noted that the higher the number of neuroendocrine cells present, the more aggressive the tumour may be. Because of this prostate NETs may be treated as prostate cancer.
NETs of the prostate gland are rare, high-grade (small or large cell) and/or mixed cell neuroendocrine prostate cancers are more likely (<2% of all prostate cancers) to be seen than well differentiated NET. Diagnosis is ultimately based on histology Prostatic NETs are less likely to express PSA - however measurement is useful as this may aid diagnosis and direct therapy.
For more information on Prostate NETs, click here for a fact sheet by the NET Patient Foundation (UK).
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
Treatment options also may depend on the following:
Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die of it.
For more information on Prostate Cancer click here
This link is to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer website in the United States. There may be references to drugs and clinical trials that are not available here in Australia.
Page last updated: 07/05/2020