Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control. The prostate is a gland found only in males. It makes some of the fluid that is part of semen.

The prostate is below the bladder (the hollow organ where urine is stored) and in front of the rectum (the last part of the intestines). The urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis, goes through the center of the prostate.

Growths in the prostate can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).















Key Facts:

Benign growths (like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH):


  • Are rarely a threat to life

  • Do not invade the tissues around them

  • Do not spread to other parts of the body

  • Can be removed and can grow back very slowly

Malignant growths (prostate cancer):

  • May sometimes be a threat to life

  • Can spread to nearby organs and tissues (such as the bladder or rectum)

  • Can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body (like lymph nodes or bone) 

  • Often can be removed but sometimes grow back