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The prostate gland is an organ that is located at the base or outlet (neck) of the urinary bladder. The prostate gland surrounds the first part of the urethra. The urethra is the passage through which urine drains from the bladder to exit from the penis.

One function of the prostate gland is to help control urination by pressing directly against the part of the urethra that it surrounds.

Another function of the prostate gland is to produce some of the substances that are found in normal semen such as minerals and sugar. Semen is the fluid that transports the sperm. A man can manage quite well without his prostate gland.

In a young man, the normal prostate gland is the size of a walnut. However during normal aging the gland usually grows larger. This enlargement with aging is called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). Approximately ½ of all men over 60 will suffer from Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.        Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) is not associated with prostate cancer.

Both Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer can cause similar problems in older men.

An enlarged prostate gland can squeeze or impinge on the outlet of the bladder or the urethra leading to difficulty with urination. The resulting symptoms commonly include slowing of the urinary stream and urinating more frequently – particularly at night.


Prostate cancer is a malignant cancerous growth that consists of cells from the prostate gland. The tumor usually grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland for many years. During this time, the tumor produces little or no symptoms or outward signs.

As the cancer advances, it can spread beyond the prostate gland into the surrounding tissues. Prostate cancer can also metastasize or spread even farther throughout areas of the body such as to the bones, liver and/or lungs. Symptoms and signs are more often associated with advanced prostate cancer.

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