Prostate Cancer Second Most Deadly Cancer in US Men

According to studies conducted by the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in America. The organization estimates that during 2008 about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.

Although 1 in every six men in the United States will get prostate cancer in his lifetime, only 1 in 35 will die of this illness. Still this is a staggering statistic. Currently, prostate cancer is number among the killer cancers in the US for males, after lung cancer.

More than 9 out of 10 prostate cancers are diagnosed in local and regional stages. Local is defined as being confined to the prostate; regional means it has spread from the prostate to adjacent regions, but not to distant sites, such as bone. In comparison to men the same age and race without cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate for these men is close to 100%.

However, 5-year relative survival rate for men whose prostate cancers have already spread to distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis is about 34% [1]. Five-year survival rate is the percentage of men who live more than 5 years after their prostate cancer is first diagnosed.

Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia

More often, prostate cancer is slow growing but there are times when it can also grow fast and spread rapidly into the other parts of the body.

Prostate cancer can be detected in the changes in the size and shape of the prostate glands often known in the medical industry as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia or PIN. Where the changes is low-grade (normal), you can breath easy but if the changes is high-grade (abnormal), you should ask for further test.

Chances are, where you have high-grade PIN, there are prostate cancer cells lurking in your system. If you get high-grade PIN diagnosis, do not hesitate to take further test to ascertain the truth about your condition. Remember that early detection is very important.

Causes

Like most other cancers, the causes of prostate cancer are still unknown. However, risk of getting prostate cancer is significantly increased in men who smoke. Hereditary factors, such as if you have members in the family who suffered prostate cancer, also have a role[2]. However, having there are a lot of men who have all the risk factors against them but they never really get prostate cancer while thee are those whom doctors would tag as having remote possibilities of getting the disease turn-out to be diagnosed if prostrate cancer.

Although how men get prostate cancer is still a medical mystery, there are certain things, which have been proven in studies conducted by several authorities. Studies show that as the men gets older, they become more at risk of getting prostrate cancer.

About 2 out of every 3 prostrate cancer patients are men over 65 years old. This leads some experts in the field to believe that prostate cancer maybe directly connected with the fact that the prostrate glands in men keeps growing around the urethra even when they get older.

However, not all cases of continued growth in the glands around the urethra lead to prostate cancer. In most cases, this continued growth are associated with benign prostatic hyperlasia or BPH which causes problems in urinating but is generally harmless in itself.

References

1. Stanford JL, Stephenson RA, Coyle LM, Cerhan J, Correa R, Eley JW, Gilliland F, Hankey B, Kolonel LN, Kosary C, Ross R, Severson R, West D. Prostate Cancer Trends 1973-1995, SEER Program, National Cancer Institute. NIH Pub. No. 99-4543. Bethesda, MD, 1999.
2. Gong G, Oakley-Girvan I, Wu AH, et al.: Segregation analysis of prostate cancer in 1,719 white, African-American and Asian-American families in the United States and Canada. Cancer Causes Control 13 (5): 471-82, 2002.

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