Early stages of a malignant neoplasm of the prostate, or prostate cancer, are asymptomatic, according to Mayo Clinic. Later, symptoms include difficulty in urinating and a diminished urine stream. They also include blood in the semen, pelvic discomfort, bone pain and erectile dysfunction.
Screening for prostate cancer is controversial, and it is up to the patient and his doctor to determine when or if he should receive regular screening for the disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Medical experts do not know what causes prostate cancer.
Some men are more at risk than others, claims Mayo Clinic. These are older men, African American men, and men with a family history of not only prostate cancer but breast cancer. Men who are obese and have prostate cancer may find the cancer is harder to treat.
Like other cancers, doctors stage prostate cancer, says WebMD. In stage 1, the cancer is so small that neither a digital rectal exam nor imaging techniques can detect it. In stage 2, the cancer has grown but has not spread beyond the prostate. In stage 3, the cancer has spread just outside the prostate, and in stage 4, the cancer has metastasized to distant sites, such as the bones, lungs or liver.