Prostate cancer is one of most common types of cancer diagnosed in men. In fact, about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. The good news is that most cases of prostate cancer, especially if they’re caught early, are treatable. Although there are different types of prostate cancer, almost all prostate cancers begin in the gland cells.
In the prostate, cancer starts as a microscopic change to the prostate gland cells. These changes are called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and almost half of all men have them by age 50. If PINs are barely noticeable, doctors typically continue to follow up with patients but do not start treatment. However, when doctors notice high-grade PINs, they know that the patient has a higher chance of developing one of the different types of prostate cancer.
The most common type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma. However there are rarer types, including carcinoid and small-cell cancer. Adenocarcinomas develop within the gland cells, and, fortunately, they tend to grow slowly. In most cases, doctors take a “watch and wait” approach. However, if adenocarcinomas spread to other parts of the prostate, or if they spread to other parts of the body, doctors will choose more aggressive forms of treatment.
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