Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men after skin cancer. African-American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. Men with family histories of the disease are also at greater risk. In addition, the risk for prostate cancer increases with age. It most often appears after age 50. According to the National Cancer Institute, over 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, with over 28,000 men dying from the disease.
The function of the prostate is to provide nourishing and protective fluid to support sperm survival. This is an important function for the purpose of fertilizing a woman’s egg in the uterus for conception. The prostate gland is found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Normally, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. As a man gets older, the prostate often becomes enlarged. More than 1/2 of American men over the age of 60 have some enlargement of the prostate. This is not usually caused by cancer but could possibly cause other problems.