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Types of Prostate Cancer

Ninety-five percent of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, which arise from glandular tissue. More rarely, cancer begins in the tissues surrounding the gland. These types include leiomyosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.

Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is an abnormal change in prostate cells that eventually become malignant.

Prostate carcinoma usually arises near the surface of the gland, where it may be felt by a doctor during a digital rectal examination (DRE).

As the tumor grows, the prostate expands around the urethra and may cause urinary problems similar to BPH. By the time the tumor is large enough to cause symptoms, it has often spread beyond its capsule.

Prostate cancer may invade surrounding fat and tissue, the seminal vesicles (which carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra), and/or the neck of the bladder. It may invade lymph nodes in the pelvic region. Later, prostate cancer can spread to the bones, primarily those in the spine, hip, pelvis, and chest. Metastasis often occurs in the lungs, liver, and adrenal glands.