The prostate is an exocrine gland of the male reproductive system, and exists directly under the bladder, in front of the rectum. An exocrine gland is one whose secretions end up outside the body e.g. prostate gland and sweat glands. It is approximately the size of a walnut.

The urethra – a tube that goes from the bladder to the end of the penis and carries urine and semen out of the body – goes through the prostate.

There are thousands of tiny glands in the prostate – they all produce a fluid that forms part of the semen. This fluid also protects and nourishes the sperm. When a male has an orgasm the seminal-vesicles secrete a milky liquid in which the semen travels. The liquid is produced in the prostate gland, while the sperm is kept and produced in the testicles. When a male climaxes (has an orgasm) contractions force the prostate to secrete this fluid into the urethra and leave the body through the penis.

In the vast majority of cases, the prostate cancer starts in the gland cells – this is called adenocarcinoma. In this article, prostate cancer refers just to adenocarcinoma.

Prostate cancer is mostly a very slow progressing disease. In fact, many men die of old age, without ever knowing they had prostate cancer – it is only when an autopsy is done that doctors know it was there. Several studies have indicated that perhaps about 80% of all men in their eighties had prostate cancer when they died, but nobody knew, not even the doctor.

Experts say that prostate cancer starts with tiny alterations in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells – Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). According to Medilexicon`smedical dictionary, Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia means “dysplastic changes involving glands and ducts of the prostate that may be a precursor of adenocarcinoma; low grade (PIN 1), mild dysplasia with cell crowding, variation in nuclear size and shape, and irregular cell spacing; high grade (PIN 2 and 3), moderate to severe dysplasia with cell crowding, nucleomegaly and nucleolomegaly, and irregular cell spacing.”

Doctors say that nearly 50% of all 50-year-old men have PIN. The cells are still in place – they do not seem to have moved elsewhere – but the changes can be seen under a microscope. Cancer cells would have moved into other parts of the prostate. Doctors describe these prostate gland cell changes as low-grade or high-grade; high grade is abnormal while low-grade is more-or-less normal.

Any patient who was found to have high-grade PIN after a prostate biopsy is at a significantly greater risk of having cancer cells in his prostate. Because of this, doctors will monitor him carefully and possibly carry out another biopsy later on.

READ MORE: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150086.php

light blue prostate cancer