CancerCancer is a group of diseases where cells grow abnormally an... Full Definition is a disease that causes cells in the body to grow abnormally. Cancer cells tend to grow faster and live longer than normal cells. Abnormal cells also stop performing their normal functions in the body. In many forms of cancer, they group together in clumps called tumors.

If the cancer is not treated, the clumps can grow so large that they take over the organ they started in. They can also break out of that organ and send cells into the bloodstream. These cells may take up residence in other parts of the body, forming secondary tumors called metastases.

ProstateThe prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bla... Full Definition cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the prostate. The disease occurs most often in older men. According to the Centers for Disease Control, prostate cancer rarely occurs in men under 50, but it becomes increasingly common after age 50. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the United States (after skin cancer). It affects one in seven men.

It isn’t clear why, but according to the National Cancer Institute, black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from it than white men. The risk among white men is higher than that of Japanese men living in Japan. The differences in risk could be genetic, but dietary differences could also play a role. Researchers have found evidence that diets high in animal fat or dairy products could increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Most cases of prostate cancer are slow-growing tumors. These cases have a very high cure rate. The definition of a cure varies depending on treatment. If the prostate is removed surgically, the PSA level should drop to zero about a month after treatment. The PSA may rise slightly if some normal prostate tissue was left behind, but if it continues to rise, the cancer may have come back. For men who were treated with radiationHigh-energy particles that cause ionization and tissue damag... Full Definition to cure the cancer, the PSA will drop to a very low level, though the level may bounce up and down. If it rises to a certain level and stays there or continues to rise, that may indicate that the cancer has returned.

The tendency for prostate cancer to be slow growing is usually considered to be good news, but some cases of prostate cancer are fast growing. If these cases are detected late, when the disease has already spread outside the borders of the prostate, the disease is very difficult to cure.

One of the biggest challenges in prostate cancer care today is telling the difference between indolent (slow-growing) prostate cancer and aggressive (fast-growing) disease. One of the worst-case scenarios for a patient is to discover prostate cancer too late, after it has metastasizedSpread to other sites in the body via metastasis.. A worst-case scenario for a doctor is to have a patient choose not to treat his prostate cancer, assuming that most prostate cancers grow slowly, and then find out later that the disease is aggressive and has spread.

There is no single medical test that clearly differentiates slow-growing prostate cancer from aggressive disease. Instead, doctors use a combination of tests to differentiate the two. Prostate cancer tests include the digital rectal exam, blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), biopsyAn examination of tissue removed from the body to understand... Full Definition, and prostate imaging using ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other specialized tests on the blood or cancer tissue from a biopsy may be performed as well.

2x the prostate cancer risk for African American men.

Screening for Prostate Cancer

Screening for prostate cancer means testing a man with no signs or symptoms of the disease to see if they have evidence of prostate cancer. Screening has become controversial. On one hand, it has the potential to find cancer early when it is still relatively easy to treat. On the other hand, there is a risk of false positives and unnecessary treatment. Currently, the US Preventive Service Task Force recommends against screening all men for prostate cancer using the PSA blood test. However, the American Cancer Society, the American Urological Association, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) encourage men to talk to their doctors about screening. Screening recommendations change over time as new data becomes available so it is important to discuss with your doctor the most recent recommendations.

For instance, younger men in their 40s or 50s might consider screening if they have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer. Black men may also want to consider screening because evidence shows that they have an elevated risk for the disease. Black men and overweight men may be at risk for more aggressive cancer. Older men in their 60s and 70s may consider screening if they are in very good health and could benefit from treatment because they expect to live another ten years or more.

Men who are experiencing any symptoms of prostate cancer should see a doctor and discuss prostate cancer testing. This is a different situation than screening for prostate cancer in a person who has no symptoms.