The prostate is an important gland of the male reproductive system, which includes the penis, scrotum, testes, spermatic ducts, Bulbourethral glands,the prostate gland, and others. These organs work synergistically to produce many functions including producing sperm, the male gamete, and the other elements of semen.
The prostate contains the ejaculatory ducts. It is located below the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds the urethra, which leads urine from the bladder to the outside. This explains why people with prostate disorders tend to have urinary problems – please see prostate cancer symptoms.
In young men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut, 1.6 x 1 x 1.2 inches, and can weigh up to 25 grams. This gland is composed of a set of components called lobules, which are formed bysupportiveconnective tissues containing smooth muscle, blood vessels and nerve endings, as well as glandular formations which secrete prostatic fluid.
This is a very important organ for men life. But it is subject to three major diseases: adenoma or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), acute or chronic infection of the prostate (prostatitis), and malignant tumor (cancer). Prostate cancer is the most serious among these 3 medical conditions.
Prostate cancer is a formation of a malignancy in the cells of the prostate gland. The cancer usually develops from the tissue of the gland when due to certain carcinogenic aggressions the cells mutate and multiply uncontrollably without naturally committing suicide by programmed cell death(apoptosis), which is a fundamental biological process for a healthy living. As the malignant cells continue to reproduce, the tumor can then extend (metastasize) from the prostate to other parts of the body: bones, lymph nodes, and others.
Cancer of prostate is the most common malignant tumor in men. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that about 220,800 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this 2015, causing the death of about 27,540. Nearly 1 in 7 men in their sixties will be diagnosed with cancer of prostate. These figures do not include people are living with the disease without knowing it. Prostate cancer signs tend to manifest discreetly.
Most prostate cancers develop very slowly. In fact, majority of men in whom the cancer is detected will die of another cause. Often, the tumor remains localized in the prostate and has limited effects on health, except painless urinary disorders or erectile dysfunction (please seeprostate cancer and sex); although it occurs some cancers develop and spread rapidly. But in general, prostate cancer is a disease of good prognosis, over 95% survival rate five years after diagnosis.
About 95% of casesof prostate cancer develop in the glandular tissues of the body (prostate adenocarcinoma). The severity of the cancer depends on many factors: lifestyle of the patient (healthy/unhealthy diet, being positive/negative), the extent of the tumor (local, with neighboring or distant metastases), the type of cancer cells affected, the stage of the tumor at diagnosis or the degree of the malignancy – please prostate cancer diagnosis.
After the diagnosis, the evolution of the cancer in the prostate is usually measured by the Gleason score, which is based on the type of cancer cells. It is a graduate of 2, which indicates slow evolution; to 10, the tumor is rapidly advancing.
The best option is to undergo prostate cancer screening if you are 45 years old or older. Early prostate cancer antigen–2(EPCA-2) test can help in the early detection of the disease. The procedure allows a health care provider to measure the rate of the EPCA-2 protein in the blood to determine if it is low or elevated. This protein tends to be elevated in prostate cancer patients. The test provides more accurate answer in identifying early the disease than the standard PSA test. In fact, a prostate cancer be cured if it is diagnosed early. The problem is the fact it is not available in most countries.
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