Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men after skin cancer. In some men it grows slowly with no serious concern, but in others it becomes an aggressive disease. However, early detection and improvements in therapy have resulted in a dramatic decrease in deaths by 40 to 50 percent since the early 1990’s according to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and a 56 percent chance to beat prostate cancer if it is detected early according to CANSA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum and secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. Almost all prostate cancers develop from the glandular cells.
The three most common prostate conditions are:
Metastatic prostate cancer is when prostate cancer cells spread by invading nearby organs and tissues, such as the bladder or rectum, or by travelling through the blood or lymph to other parts of the body. The bones, especially in the spine, is the most common site of prostate cancer spread, apart from the lymph nodes near the prostate. In some cases, prostate cancer has already metastasized by the time the disease has been diagnosed.
Screening (testing to find the disease in men) is one of the best ways to detect prostate cancer early, enabling more effective treatment and a better chance of recovery.
It is important to talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of these screenings.
There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, but there are ways to lower your risk. Speak to a counsellor at your local CANSA Care Centre.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa