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Prostate cancer

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Malignant tumours of the prostate

Malignant tumours of the prostate are cancerous growths that have the potential to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.


Gland cells in the prostate produce the prostatic fluid that is part of semen. More than 95% of prostate cancers develop from these gland cells and are called adenocarcinomas. Most adenocarcinomas are found in the peripheral zone of the prostate and may be felt during a digital rectal examination (DRE).

Adenocarcinomas are most commonly found in more than one site (multifocal) in the prostate. The gradegradeA description of a tumour that includes how different the cancer cells look from normal cells (differentiation), how quickly the cancer cells are growing and dividing, and how likely they are to spread. can vary in each site.

Rare prostate tumours

Other types of prostate cancer include:

  • transitional cell carcinoma
  • sarcoma
  • small cell (neuroendocrine) carcinoma
  • ductal carcinoma
  • mucinous carcinoma
  • large duct (endometrioid) carcinoma
  • primary lymphoma of the prostate

These rare types of prostate cancer make up less than 5% of all prostate cancers.


Dr Edward Chow A new standard for managing cancer pain

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Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life

Illustration of test tubes

A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.

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