Cancer Care Center
What is Prostate Cancer?
In 2012, the American Cancer society estimates that 241,740 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 28,000 men will die from this disease.
But what is it prostate cancer — and who is at risk for it? MetroHealth urologist Carvell Nguyen, MD, PhD, answers some frequently asked questions.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is made up of cells that do not grow normally. Such abnormal cells can grow out of control, forming tumors that can spread to other parts of the body, multiply and cause death.
Who gets prostate cancer?
Only men can get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men and the second most common cause of cancer death.
What raises a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer?
We currently do have not the ability to predict with certainty who will and will not get prostate cancer.
However, there are biological clues that place certain men at increased risk, including:
- Men age 50 years or older
- African American men
- Men with a family history of prostate cancer
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
There are no symptoms that are specific for prostate cancer. Many men have no symptoms at all, and for those who do experience symptoms, the most common cause is prostate enlargement, not prostate cancer.
Potential symptoms include:
- Difficulty in starting urination
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away
What if I have these symptoms?
Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by other health problems, but if you have any symptoms, you should see a urologist.
Irma J. Lengu, MD
Dr. Lengu is a urologic surgeon who sees adults and children.
Her specialty interests include:
- Kidney Stones
- Genitourinary Cancers
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Prostate Cancer
- Male and Female Urinary Incontinence
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Pediatric Urology
Carvell Nguyen, MD, PhD
Dr. Nguyen is a urologic surgeon and an expert in minimally-invasive surgical techniques, including robotics and laparoscopy.
He manages all aspects of adult urology with a focus on the treatment of urologic malignancies, including:
- Prostate cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Testicular cancer