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The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It is a small organ below the bladder that makes fluid for semen. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body through the penis. Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer cells can spread within the prostate, to nearby lymph nodes and other tissues, and to other parts of the body.
When the cancer hasn't spread outside the prostate, it is called localized prostate cancer. With localized prostate cancer, your options depend on how likely it is that your cancer will grow. Test results, including the Gleason score from your prostate biopsy, will show if your cancer is likely to grow.
If your cancer has already spread outside the prostate or to other parts of the body, then you may have other treatments, like chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
If you are older or have other serious health problems, like heart disease, you may choose not to have treatments to cure your cancer. Instead, you can just have treatments to manage your symptoms. This is called watchful waiting.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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