What Is Prostate Cancer?

Anatomical view of testicles and prostate

First, it’s helpful to know a little about the prostate.

Your prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces a fluid that protects your sperm. Located between your bladder and your rectum, the prostate wraps around your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder and out through your penis.

Sperm are manufactured in the testicles. During sexual activity, sperm pass through the prostate gland, where they mix with seminal fluid before being released from the penis during ejaculation.

Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells begin to grow in the prostate tissue. If those cells travel out of the prostate to distant parts of the body, it is called metastatic prostate cancer.

Who gets prostate cancer?

Anyone who was assigned male at birth and still has a prostate can get prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men: One in every seven will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis at some point during their life. But it’s important to remember that most people diagnosed who get it will not die of it. Today there are more than three million people in the U.S. are living with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer risk factors

Info sheets

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Prostate cancer info sheet

What you need to know about prostate cancer.

View our info sheet

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Prostate cancer in African Americans

Learn more about this higher-risk group.

View our info sheet