Prostate cancer is cancer of the small walnut-shaped gland, the prostate, which produces seminal fluid. It is usually has a slow growth rate, but is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include an increased need to urinate and a feeling that the bladder is not fully emptied. Patients experiencing these symptoms should book an appointment with their physician. Symptoms may be caused by other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) but could be an early sign of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is more common in older men over the age of 50. There is no single test to establish its presence, so there are a range of tests a doctor may order, such as blood tests, a biopsy, physical examination or digital rectal exam of the prostate. If cancer is diagnosed, the next step is to stage the cancer to establish the rate of growth.
It is not always necessary to treat prostate cancer immediately, but it is crucial the condition is monitored properly once diagnosed. Treatment options include removing the cancerous prostate, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Drug classes often used to treat prostate cancer include androgens and gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists.