About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type in men, affecting nearly 11% of men in the U.S. Dr. Tewari is a prostate cancer expert, having completed more than 9,000 robotic prostatectomies in his career. Learn about how prostate cancer progresses and the treatment options across all stages of the disease.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a gland that is a part of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland grow and divide uncontrollably, forming a tumor. As men age, the prostate has a higher risk of developing cancer. It is a slow-growing cancer and may not cause symptoms in early stages.

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not yet fully understood. However, there are several factors that may contribute to the development of prostate cancer in men, including:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle factors

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Men with early-stage prostate cancer usually do not have noticeable symptoms. The first sign of the disease is often found during a routine screening exam. As the cancer progress, symptoms can include: 

  • Frequent urge to urinate 
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination 
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine 
  • Painful urination and ejaculation 
  • Blood in the urine or semen 
  • Difficulty having an erection 
  • Decreased fluid ejaculated 
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum 
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs 

It is important to note that these symptoms overlap with other benign (non-cancerous) issues including enlarged prostate. Request an appointment if you have symptoms of prostate disease. 

See How the Prostate Works
Click on the hotspots to learn more


The prostate is a gland located directly below the bladder and above the muscles of the pelvic floor. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. The function of the prostate is to produce the fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.

Seminal vesicles

Located above the prostate, the seminal vesicles are sac-like pouches that produce and store some of the liquid portion of semen. They join with the vas deferens to form the ejaculatory ducts that pass through the prostate to the urethra.

Vas deferens

The vas deferens is a long, muscular tube that transports sperm from the epididymis into the pelvic cavity and then to the ejaculatory duct. Mature sperm are stored in the vas deferens.


The bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis where urine is stored.

Ejaculatory ducts

The ejaculatory ducts are formed by the joining of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles. They deliver sperm to the urethra.

Bulbourethral glands (Cowper’s glands)

The bulbourethral glands are small structures located on the sides of the urethra just below the prostate. They secrete a thin fluid into the urethra that lubricates the urethra and neutralizes the acid from urine in order to prepare the urethra for the flow of semen.


The urethra is a membranous tube that transports urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body. The urethra also has the function of expelling semen during ejaculation.


The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that rests against the back of the testes (testicles). The epididymis stores sperm cells, which are produced by the testes, and provides the environment for them to mature.


The penis is the external reproductive organ. It comprises 3 parts, the root which is attached to the pelvic bones, the shaft (main body), and the glans (tip), The shaft contains the urethra which opens at the tip to release semen or urine.

Testes (testicles)

The testes produce sperm and testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. They are contained within the scrotum, a pouch-like sac that serves to protect the testes and regulate their temperature to support normal sperm development.

What are the grades of prostate cancer?

An important component of diagnosing your cancer is the grade of the cancer. A cancer’s grade describes how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope when compared to healthy cells. See how we grade prostate cancer.

Am I at risk of having prostate cancer?

Approximately 1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Several factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Learn More

What are my treatment options?

Our patients have access to the most advanced surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Dr. Tewari has performed more than 9,000 robotic prostatectomies and is world-renowned as one of the best prostate cancer surgeons. Research your treatment options.

What are the side effects of prostate cancer treatments?

Dr. Tewari's team is dedicated to minimizing your risk of complications. Less than 10% of men have complications after prostatectomy, and most are short-term and treatable. Explore potential side effects and treatments.

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