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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Prostate Cancer, Version 1.2016

The prostate

The prostate is a gland that makes a white-colored

fluid. Sperm mixes with this fluid and other fluids

to form semen. Semen is ejected from the body

through the penis during ejaculation. The fluid from

the prostate protects sperm from the acid inside a

woman’s vagina.

As shown in

Figure 1

, the prostate is located below

the bladder near the base of the penis. Urine from

the bladder travels through the urethra, which passes

through the prostate and into the penis. Above the

prostate and behind the bladder are two seminal

vesicles. Seminal vesicles are also glands that make

a fluid that is part of semen.

Inside the prostate, 30 to 50 small sacs make and

hold the white-colored fluid. The fluid travels in ducts

to the urethra during ejaculation. Around the sacs and

ducts is connective tissue.

The prostate begins to form while a baby is inside

his mother’s womb. After birth, the prostate keeps

growing and reaches nearly full size during puberty.

At this point, it is about the size of a walnut.

Testosterone causes the prostate to grow slowly in

most men. However, the prostate may grow to a large

size in some men and cause problems passing urine.


Prostate cancer basics

The prostate

The prostate gland makes a fluid

that is part of semen.

Figure 1.

The prostate

The prostate gland

makes a fluid that is

part of semen.

Illustration Copyright © 2016 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.


seminal vesicle