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Genitourinary Oncology Program

Patient and Family Education

Prostate Cancer

What Is Prostate Cancer?


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Dr. Heather Mannuel’s Bio Image

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. Doctors cannot provide a diagnosis or individual treatment advice via e-mail. Please consult your physician about your specific health care concerns.

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Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells develop in the prostate, one of the male sex glands. Cancer of the prostate is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in men in the United States. Although the cause of the disease is not known, we do know that the growth of cancer cells (like normal cells) is stimulated by male hormones, particularly testosterone.

The prostate is about the size of a walnut and is located just below the bladder. It functions as part of the male reproductive system by secreting a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid.

The gland is made of:

  1. three lobes that surround the upper part of the urethra
  2. the tube that carries urine
  3. semen from the other sex glands (the testicles and seminal vesicles)

This page was last updated on: December 18, 2012.