Prostate Cancer 101\nSeptember is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a reminder to men to keep an eye out on their body for possible changes to their health.\nTo understand this disease, it is important to know about the prostate itself:\u00a0The prostate is a walnut-sized organ, which is located in front of a man\u2019s rectum and below the bladder. Part of the reproductive system, it helps produce semen.\nWhat Is Prostate Cancer?\nProstate cancer occurs when the cells in the gland grow uncontrollably, leading to a malignant tumor. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, affecting about one in seven.\nAccording to the American Cancer Society, 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2016. An expected 26,120 deaths from the disease will occur this year.\nProstate Cancer Risk Factors\n\nAge: Men over 65 years old have an increased risk of prostate cancer\nRace: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men\nFamily history: There is an increased risk if a family member had prostate cancer\nGenetic changes: A small percentage of cases of prostate cancer are due to gene changes such as the BRCA mutations and Lynch syndrome\n\nSigns and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer\nSo, you\u2019re a man over the age of 65. What should you keep an eye out for?\nUnfortunately, if you\u2019re in the early stages of prostate cancer, you may not notice anything different at all. Advanced disease symptoms include:\n\nBlood in semen or urine\nErectile dysfunction\nTrouble urinating (frequent urination\/need to urinate; slow stream)\nHip, spine, or rib pain\nNumbness in feet and legs\nLoss of bowel control or bladder control\n\nIf you have any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor right away. However, just because you have one or these problems does not mean you definitely have prostate cancer. Many men who have occurrences such as the ones listed above are diagnosed with a benign growth.\nIf you have questions about your health or any possible symptoms you are having, contact your health care professionals. To learn more about prostate cancer, visit\u00a0the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center website.