The prostate gland is a sex organ located at the base of the male urinary bladder. It secretes a substance that makes up part of the fluid that transports sperm outside the body. Cancer of the prostate most often occurs in men over the age of fifty, with married men being at higher risk than single men. Prostate cancer may produce no symptoms, but when symptoms do appear they include problems with urination, such as difficulty in starting or stopping the urinary stream, the inability to urinate, a frequent need to urinate, pain or burning when urinating, blood in the urine, and consistent pain in the lower back or pelvis. Because prostate cancer is often discovered during a routine examination when no symptoms are present, a rectal examination should be included in routine physical examinations of men age forty and over. Treatment for prostate cancer may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, and in some cases, hormone therapy. When the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, the cure rate is high, so regular exams are important. For more information about prostate cancer, contact your health care provider.
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