The prostate is a muscular, walnut-sized gland that makes chemicals that affect or control what other cells or organs do. It’s part of the male reproductive system. Its main job is to make seminal fluid, the milky substance that transports sperm.
The prostate wraps around part of your urethra, the tube that moves urine and semen out of your body.
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be frightening. The more you learn, however, the less anxious you may feel. Your most important task after being diagnosed is to get as much information as you can about your condition. Then you and your doctor can talk over the best course of action. Because there is an array of treatment options, making the decision can be complicated. Here are the key questions to ask:
How much time do I have to make a decision?
Thanks to early detection, most prostate...
During an orgasm, muscles in your prostate contract to push semen through your urethra and out your penis. The urethra also carries urine, a waste product made by the kidneys and stored in the bladder. When the penis is erect during sexual intercourse, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.
Where Is It Located?
It sits directly beneath your bladder and in front of your rectum. Because the first portion of the urethra passes through the prostate, the passage of urine or semen through the urethra can be blocked if the gland is enlarged.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, excluding skin cancers, in American men. It is a malignant tumor of the prostate. In most men, the cancer grows very slowly. Many men with the disease will never know they have it. Early prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland itself. Most men with this type of cancer can live for years with no problems.
Doctors talk about prostate cancer in terms of a "grade" and a "stage." The grade is given to indicate how the cancer cells look under the microscope when a biopsy is analyzed. The grade often predicts how quickly a cancer is growing and will spread -- the higher the grade, the more likely it is that the cancer will grow and spread rapidly. The size and extent of the tumor when first detected determine its stage.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
As with many cancers, it isn’t known. But doctors do know you're more likely to get it if you're African-American or have a family history of the disease. The male sex hormone testosterone also contributes to its growth.