Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells form and grow in the prostate gland to form a cancerous (malignant) tumor.
Although the cause of prostate cancer is unknown, the following factors increase cancer risk:
- Age — Prostate cancer is more likely to occur in men older than 55.
- Ethnicity — One in six Black American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It occurs less often in Asian American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic White men.
- Family History — Men who have a grandfather, father or brother diagnosed with the disease are more likely to develop the disease themselves. Also, having family members with breast and ovarian cancer increases one’s prostate cancer risk.
- Weight — Being overweight in your 50s and later increases your risk of prostate cancer.
Sometimes there are no symptoms, but talk with your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Dull pain in the lower pelvic zone
- Frequent need to pass urine
- Trouble passing urine, pain, burning or weak urine flow
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
- Loss of hunger
- Loss of weight
- Bone pain
Your doctor may advise screenings to include blood tests and a digital rectal exam.
Discuss screening options with your doctor if you …
- Are between 55 and 69 years old.
- Are a Black male.
- Have a family history of prostate cancer.
- Have symptoms.
A prostate biopsy may be performed if screening tests show an issue with the prostate. During a biopsy, a tissue sample is taken from your prostate or other organs to look for cancer cells.
If you receive a cancer diagnosis, treatments may include surgery and radiation therapy. Discuss the best options for you with your doctor based on the following considerations:
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- Your risk category (low-, intermediate- or high-risk)
- Your age and health
- Side effects and long-term effects of treatment
- Your treatment goals
- Results from other diagnostic tests