Prostate Cancer - Description

The prostate is one of the major male sex glands. It is about the size of a walnut and lies just behind the urinary bladder. Together with the testicles and seminal vesicles, the prostate produces the fluid that makes up semen.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the United States. It is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths. According to the American Cancer Society there were approximately 179,300 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the United States in 1999. About thirty-seven thousand American men died of the disease in 1999.

Prostate cancer affects black men twice as often as it does white men. The mortality rate among blacks is also twice as great. African American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world.

As prostate cancer develops, it may metastasize. Metastasis is the process by which cancer cells travel from one part of the body to another. The most common sites to which it spreads are the lymph nodes, the lungs, and various bones in the hip region.

A term for a tumor that does not spread and is not life-threatening.
A procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed so that it can be studied under a microscope.
A method of treating cancer using certain chemicals that can kill cancer cells.
A female sex hormone.
Hormone therapy:
A method of treating prostate cancer by adjusting the level of testosterone in the patient's body.
A tumor that can spread to other parts of the body and that poses a serious threat to a person's life.
The process by which cancer cells travel from one area of the body to another.
Radiation therapy:
The use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer.
Seminal vesicles:
The organs that produce semen.
Two egg-shaped glands that produce sperm and sex hormones.
A male sex hormone.
A mass or lump of tissue made of abnormal cells.

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