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Prostate cancer starts in the cells of the prostate. The prostate is part of a man’s reproductive system.
Its main function is to make part of the liquid (seminal fluid) that mixes with sperm from the testicles to make semen. Semen is ejaculated during sex. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. It usually grows slowly and can often be cured or managed successfully.
A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). Prostate cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because it is generally a slow-growing cancer. Symptoms appear once the tumour enlarges or grows into surrounding tissues and organs.
The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.
Late Signs and Symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs.
Treatment for prostate cancer is given by cancer specialists (oncologists). Some specialize in surgery, some in radiation therapy and others in chemotherapy (drugs). These doctors work with the person with cancer to decide on a treatment plan
Treatment plans are designed to meet the unique needs of each person with cancer. Treatment decisions for prostate cancer are based on:
Making decisions about treatment can be difficult. It is very useful for a man with prostate cancer to be well informed about the details of his diagnosis and treatment options. This allows an informed discussion with the doctors so a man can choose the treatment option that is best for him.