What is prostate cancer?

What is prostate cancer?

Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body.  If cancer begins in the prostate, it is called prostate cancer.

 

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men globally. Based on the GLOBOCAN database, there were 1.2 million new cases and 358,000 deaths associated with prostate cancer each year1. In Malaysia, prostate cancer is the third most common male cancer with an incidence rate (age-standardised rate) of 7.7 per 100,000 population2.

What is prostate?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland, located right below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum (Figure 1). It surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate is a part of the male reproductive system, producing fluid that makes up parts of semen. It is not usually seen and felt externally.

 

The prostate often enlarges as men get older. This can narrow the urethra and affect urine flow.  This is a non-cancerous condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

 

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Figure 1: Location of the prostate. It sits right underneath the bladder and in front of the rectum.

 

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