Prostate cancer (or prostatic cancer) describes any one of several different types of cancer of the prostate gland, depending on which cells in the gland become cancerous. The cause is unknown, but those who have sex infrequently may be more susceptible. It is rare before 50 years of age, but up to 20% of all men over 60 may have an enlargement of the prostate. The percentage of these men whose enlargement is due to cancer steadily increases with age, with virtually every male over 90 years of age having some degree of prostate cancer.
This is a very slow-growing cancer that may give no symptoms until many years after it has developed. Symptoms usually start with difficulty in passing urine and difficulty in starting the urinary stream. In advanced stages there may be spread of cancer to the bones of the pelvis and back.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in humans, while breast cancer comes a close second.