prostate cancer

Music industry veteran Joe Simpson, father of pop singers Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery to remove his prostate gland after being diagnosed two months ago.

Page Six reports the 56-year-old photographer has already returned to work.

A man’s prostate gland is a walnut sized gland located just below the bladder. It wraps around the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder), and produces the seminal fluid that transports sperm. The vas deferens is the tube that carries the sperm to the uretha.


99% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over the age of 50. A diagnosis of prostate cancer is rare in men under 45 years old.

Risk factors include a family history of cancer, race (prostate cancer is more common among black men). Prostate cancer has been associated with gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.


The American Cancer Society recommends early detection screening with Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for men 40 and older who have at least one close relative (father, brother, or son) who had prostate cancer at an early age.

Yearly prostate exams are recommended for all black men age 45 or older.

Most black men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer were referred to an oncologist when the PSA test came back abnormally high. The PSA test is controversial (for causing false positives), but it has saved many lives.

If your PSA test is abnormally high, your doctor may order a biopsy. A urologist or radiologists will use a long hollow needle to take a tissue sample from your prostate through your rectum.

Other diagnostic tests include Ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms may vary from none to severe depending on if the tumor has spread or if the tumor is pressing on the duct that carries sperm and semen or the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder.

  • Nocturia (getting up to pee frequently at night)
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Painful ejaculaion

  • Treatment

    If the cancer is slow growing, no treatment may be necessary. Treatment includes hormones to prevent the spread of the cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

    This has been your Medical Minute.

    More Info On the Web

    Prostate Cancer — American Cancer Society

    Prostate Cancer —

    Prostate Cancer — Mayo Clinic


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