What Is Prostate Cancer?
Cells are the body’s building blocks. Normally, cells grow and divide in an orderly way to form new cells. When cells grow old, they are automatically “programmed” to die and are replaced with new cells.2
In cancer, however, cells grow, multiply, and divide out of control, or old cells no longer die like they’re supposed to. Such cells form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor. When cancer cells in a tumor continue to multiply and spread to other parts of the body, the cancer is considered to be metastatic.2
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PROSTATE
The prostate is a male sex gland that lies underneath the urinary bladder. It makes the seminal fluid that carries sperm out of the body as part of semen. A healthy prostate is the size of a walnut.3
The prostate gland is located underneath the urinary bladder.3
Close-up of the prostate gland and nearby organs.
From the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health; cancer.gov.
DEFINING PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer is the uncontrolled spread (or malignant growth) of abnormal cells of the prostate. If the prostate grows too large, it squeezes the urethra—the tube that allows fluids to pass out of the body through the penis, which can slow or stop the flow of urine.3,4