Prostate Cancer Reviewed by Doctors Reviewed by Dr Wong Siew Wei

What Is Prostate Cancer

What is prostate cancer

The prostate is a small gland located beneath the bladder and is found exclusively in males. The prostate is found in front of the rectum and just beneath the urinary bladder, it is about the size of a walnut. The prostate is primarily responsible for the production of seminal fluid which nourishes, and transports sperms and its development depends on testosterone, a male sex hormone. Prostate enlargement is a common condition and usually happens in males as they age. An enlarged prostate, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) may obstruct the urinary tract. The abnormal prostate cell growth in BPH is not cancerous and doesn’t increase the risk of having prostate cancer. However, symptoms for BPH and prostate cancer can be similar.

When Does It Happen?

Prostate cancer happens when a malignant tumour is formed in the prostate gland due to an uncontrollable division of cancer cells. Sometimes, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body such as the bones and lymph nodes through the lymphatic system. It can also spread to other parts of the body such as the pelvis or to the backbone. This form of cancer is aggressive and is potentially a life limiting condition.

In Singapore, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. According to the latest Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report, it is also the fourth biggest cause of cancer-related mortality among males, making up to 6.3% of cancer deaths.

Types Of Prostate Cancer

The different types of prostate cancers are categorized depending on where the cancer started.

  • Acinar adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma makes up 95% of all prostate carcinoma. The Acinar subtype is predominant. It originates and develops in gland cells that make prostate fluid.

Other less common types of prostate cancer includes:

  • Ductal adenocarcinoma.
  • Transitional cell carcinoma.
  • Neuroendocrine tumours.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell carcinoma.
  • Prostate sarcoma.

[Updated 12 Aug 2022]

Reviewed by Dr Wong Siew Wei - Singapore Oncologist
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Learn About The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.