What is Prostate Cancer

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a gland only found in males and is where prostate cancer develops. The prostate is located in front of the rectum, just below the bladder and helps create fluid that is part of the semen. It is here where the most common type of prostate cancer, adenocarcinoma, develops. 

Adenocarcinoma makes up around 95% of the prostate cancers that are diagnosed and can be divided into two categories, Acinar adenocarcinoma and Ductal adenocarcinoma. The Acinar develops in the gland cells within the prostate and is more common. The Ductal begins within the cells in the ducts of the prostate and is usually a more aggressive cancer. 

Different Types of Prostate Cancer

Some of the more rare types of prostate cancers are: 

  • Small-cell carcinoma - makes up 1% of the prostate cancers and can spread very quickly to other areas of the body, most commonly to the lungs.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors - very rare in prostates but can develop in the neuroendocrine cells (cells that help the function of its occupying organ by making hormones).
  • Urothelial (Transitional cell) carcinomas -  while rare, this cancer can start in the urethra, the tube that urine flows out of the body through, and spread to the prostate. 
  • Sarcomas - extremely rare at only .1% of cases, this type develops in supportive tissues such as fat, nerves, and muscles.
  • Squamous - less than 1% of patients have this type that is aggressive and starts in the cells that cover the prostate.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms in its early stages. However, there are some common symptoms to lookout for. Difficulty peeing is usually the first thing you will notice which may also include blood in your urine. You may experience impotence, loss of appetite, and overall body aches.

In the following video, Dr. Ronald Tutrone, Medical Director of the Chesapeake Urology Research Associates, talks more in depth about prostate cancer symptoms.

Screening For Prostate Cancer

Due to the fact that most prostate cancers don’t cause symptoms, they are most often detected by screening methods. The most commonly used screening method is the PSA test. The PSA is prostate-specific antigen which is a protein made by cells in the prostate gland. According to the American Cancer Society, your chance of having cancer goes up as the levels of PSA go up.  

A high PSA may lead to a biopsy which can determine if you have cancer. However, if your biopsy is negative and you have high PSAs, there is another screening that can help.

"CIS uses a pelvic coil to capture images during the study, eliminating the need for rectal insertion and providing a more comfortable experience for men."

Prostate 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The Prostate 3T MRI is a specialized noninvasive technique that creates images of the Pelvis. It is designed to create detailed high resolution “multiparametric” (meaning to take a large variety of pictures) cross-sectional images of the prostate gland. These images allow our radiologist to locate and identify any lesions suspicious for prostate cancer.

Unlike many imaging providers, CIS uses a pelvic coil to capture images during the study, eliminating the need for rectal insertion and providing a more comfortable experience for men.

At Capitol Imaging Services (CIS), we combine ultra-high field MRI and prostate digital imaging systems to create an advanced prostate MRI program that is truly unique across the Gulf Coast region.