What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland. In this cancer, the cells in the prostate gland grow in an uncontrolled way. The male hormone, testosterone, stimulates the growth of these cancer cells. This abnormal growth is called a tumour.
Many prostate cancers grow very slowly and may never cause any problems. But some can grow rapidly and aggressively. If this happens the cancer may spread beyond the prostate gland.
Types of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is classified in three ways: early (localised), locally-advanced and metastatic (advanced). These are terms you may hear or read from time to time, so they are defined below.
Who gets prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and mostly affects men aged over 50.
Many cancers of the prostate are very slow growing and may not cause problems.
Prostate cancer in the UK
Prostate cancer mainly affects men aged over 50. Currently there are over 330,000 men living with the condition in the UK.
Every year over 47,000 men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Survival in prostate cancer
Because many prostate cancers are slow growing, many men can live with the disease for years without any problems. Men with slow-growing prostate cancer are more likely to die from other diseases, such as heart disease, than from the prostate cancer.
The last 30 years has seen an increase in survival rates and it now has one of the highest 5 year survival rates of all cancers.
In the UK, after diagnosis: