A cancer develops when cells grow and divide without control. Normally, cells in our body respond to many different signals that instruct them precisely when to grow, when to divide and when to die. Damage to DNA can override these signals, causing a cell to behave abnormally.
Near all prostate cancers develop within the glandular section of the prostate. However, despite this similarity in the origin of a prostate cancer, the different changes that occur within cancer cells make each patient's cancer unique.
When a cancer reaches an advanced stage, it may spread to other tissues in the body. The secondary tumors that form in other organs are called metastases, but the cancer is always identified by the site of the primary tumor. For example, prostate cancer most frequently spreads to the liver, lungs and bones, but the disease will always be called prostate cancer because of its origin.
Luckily, prostate cancer is often a slow growing tumor, meaning that it may take the disease years to progress to a metastatic stage.