Prostate Cancer: What It Is, Causes and Symptoms

The prostate is an organ of the reproductive system that helps produce sperm; About the size of a walnut, it is placed under the base of the bladder anterior to the rectum. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the gland grow uncontrollably, leading to the formation of a malignant tumor. In Italy it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men (19% of all cancers diagnosed in the male population). In 2020, about 36,000 new diagnoses were estimated (source: The numbers of cancer in Italy 2021, AIOM).

Risk Factors

  • Age: Men over the age of 65 have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
  • Family history: the risk increases if there have been cases of prostate cancer in the family.
  • Genetic changes: A small percentage of prostate cancer cases are due to genetic changes such as BRCA mutations and Lynch syndrome.


If you are a man over 65, what do you need to pay attention to?

Periodic check-ups and screening is essential to facilitate an early diagnosis of the disease: if it is at an early stage, in fact, prostate cancer does not show any significant signal. When the disease is in an advanced stage, it can manifest itself with symptoms that may include:

  • Blood in semen or urine.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Urination problems (frequent urination/need, slow flow).
  • Pain in the hip, spine or ribs.
  • Numbness of feet and legs.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, talk to your doctor: they do not necessarily coincide with a diagnosis of carcinoma, often it is a benign enlargement.

If you have any doubts or questions about your state of health, you can contact our specialists. UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital's team of urologists and andrologists is at your disposal for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

To learn more, visit our website by clicking HERE.