About prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is cancer that begins in the cells of the prostate gland, which is a walnut-shaped gland located below a man’s bladder. It is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer. While it can be a serious disease, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. Treatment can be successful when caught early, and some men don’t require treatment.
Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center provides a full range of services to diagnose, treat and
prevent prostate cancer.
Types of prostate cancer
There is only one main type of prostate cancer: adenocarcinoma. Other types, such as sarcomas and small cell and transitional cell carcinomas, are very rare. A condition known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may turn into cancer, but this connection isn’t proven.
Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. These begin in the prostate gland cells, which produce the fluid that is added to semen.
Prostate sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that starts in the soft tissue.
Small cell carcinomas
This rare type of prostate cancer is characterized by small, round cells. It tends to grow more quickly than adenocarcinomas.
Transitional cell carcinomas
Also known as urothelial cancer, transitional cell prostate cancer is a rare cancer that usually starts in the cells lining the urethra, but may start in the prostate.
Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)
By age 50, about half of all men develop small changes in the size and shape of the cells in the prostate. This is known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Some research suggests that PIN may be a pre-cancerous condition that will eventually develop into cancer, but this is controversial.
If you’re diagnosed with PIN, your doctor may recommend a biopsy and/or screenings with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to monitor your prostate health. Treatment for PIN is not recommended.