What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is usually about the size of a walnut in younger men but can change as you age and grow larger in older men.
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and can often be completely removed or successfully managed when it is diagnosed before it has spread outside of the prostate. Older men with prostate cancer often die of other causes. Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is the most common type of prostate cancer. It accounts for 95% of all prostate cancers.
Adenocarcinoma starts in gland cells. Gland cells in the prostate make mucus and prostatic fluid, which mix with sperm and other fluids to make semen. Most adenocarcinomas are found in the outer part of the prostate.
Adenocarcinoma usually develops in more than one area (site) of the prostate. When cancer is found in more than one area of an organ it is called multifocal cancer. Each site in the prostate can have a different
Rare cancerous tumours of the prostate @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Possible precancerous conditions of the prostate @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Precancerous conditions of the prostate are changes to prostate cells that could make them more likely to develop into cancer. These conditions are not yet cancer. But if they aren't treated, there is a chance that these abnormal changes will become prostate cancer.
Some experts classify prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA) and atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP) as precancerous conditions, but most experts don't think they are linked to a higher chance of developing prostate cancer. So those with PIN, PIA and ASAP aren't treated, and only those who have ASAP need follow-up.
Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is an abnormal condition of the
Proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA) means that there are areas of inflammation in the prostate and the prostate cells look smaller than normal. PIA is not cancerous. Some research suggests a link between PIA and high-grade PIN or prostate cancer and some research does not.
Atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP) is an abnormal growth of gland cells in the prostate. Some men with ASAP may have prostate cancer, so doctors may recommend doing a follow-up biopsy in 6 months. If the repeat biopsy also shows ASAP, doctors may recommend treatment.
Non-cancerous conditions of the prostate @(Model.HeadingTag)>
A non-cancerous (benign) condition of the prostate is a change to prostate cells, but it is not cancer. Non-cancerous conditions do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and are not usually life-threatening.
The most common non-cancerous conditions of the prostate are:
American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2015: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003134-pdf.pdf.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Prostate Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/view-all.
Cancer Research UK. Types of Prostate Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/prostate-cancer/about/prostate-cancer-types?view=PrinterFriendly.
Scher HI, Scardino PT, Zelefsky . Cancer of the prostate. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 68:932-980.