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Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Symptoms and Causes

The prostate is the walnut-shaped gland below a man’s bladder that produces fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages. The level of a substance called prostate specific antigen (PSA) is often high in men with prostate cancer. Since the PSA test became common, most prostate cancers are found before they cause symptoms. It is not clear what causes prostate cancer.

Early stages of prostate cancer may not show symptoms, however, in more advanced prostate cancer, symptoms may include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the urine stream
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Leg swelling
  • Pelvic area discomfort
  • Bone pain

When prostate cancer is diagnosed early, there is a better chance for successful treatment.

It's not clear what causes prostate cancer. Doctors know that prostate cancer begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells' DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.