The prostate, a walnut-sized gland located at the base of the bladder, is the most common site of cancer in men aside from the skin. About 220,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer-related deaths in men, and is responsible for about 27,000 deaths yearly.
Prostate cancer may be common, but each man's experience of the disease is unique. Prostate cancer often grows slowly, but some aggressive prostate cancers can proliferate rapidly and spread beyond the prostate, thereby becoming life-threatening. Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed in men over age 50, but it can arise in those as young as 30. Men with prostate cancer are confronted with what some may find a bewildering set of treatment choices. Along with its benefits, each approach has different and potentially significant risks of urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction.