What is cancer?

Cancer is a set of diseases that occur when cells become abnormal and multiply in an uncontrolled way.

All the organs of the body are made up of different types of cells that divide and multiply in accordance with their own needs and requirements. Abnormal cell growth may give rise to tumours, which can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the abnormal growth of benign prostate cells. This growth of the prostate exerts pressure on the urethra and the bladder, which obstructs the normal flow of urine. More than 50% of males between 60 and 70 years of age in the United States, and more than 90% between the ages of 70 and 90 have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. If such symptoms become serious they require treatment.

Malignant tumours grow and may damage other tissues and organs. If they emmigrate, they may spread through the lymphatics and blood vessels to other parts of the body, a phenomenon known as metastasis.

When prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate, the cancerous cells are often found in the nearby lymphatic ganglia.