The prostate is a walnut shaped, non-essential male organ. Glandular structures inside the organ produce semen and prostate specific antigen (PSA).
As a man ages, the prostate incurs inflammation called benign prostatic hyperplasia which isnoncancerous enlargement Prostate cancer arises from unregulated growth within the prostate of males. It often goesunnoticed until there is a rise in PSA value above 4 in the blood which signals to the doctor that something may be awry. A biopsy will be taken and a pathologist determines if cells have lost a lot of differentiation (ACS 2013). This loss of cell differentiation is a step towards invasion and metastasis because an undifferentiated tumor cell can easily “hide” within other tissues if they have attained the mutations needed to fool other cells thinking that it belongs there (Ruoslahti 1996, Humphrey 2004). The current system for measuring the severity of prostate cancer is the Gleason grading system. The grades range from 1 to 5 based on the decreasing levels of differentiation in the cells (Humphrey 2004).
The Gleason score is the addition of the first and second most prominent grades of cancer to create a score between 2 and 10. In some cases, if there is a high grade of cancer present that is below the 5% cut off, then it is used as the second grade in the score instead of the second most prominent grade to form a better explanation of the patient’s cancer (Humphrey 2004). There is currently no magic bullet that completely cures a man with prostate cancer besides removing his prostate, but even that may not work depending on the metastatic status the cancer.
If the disease is confined to the organ, then the most effective therapy is radical prostectomy, removal of prostate. However, some men decide against this procedure because it is likely to cause incontinence and, the more concerning side effect for men, erectile dysfunction.