Prostate Cancer

At Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center, internationally renowned experts who specialize in treating prostate cancer work together to provide patients with the highest standard of care and treatment. Our high-volume center treats a large number of new patients with prostate cancer each year, and we meet your unique needs using the most advanced expertise and treatments to improve outcomes for all of our patients. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, not including skin cancers, and one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Thanks to early screening measures, though, the 10-year survival rate is 98 percent. Over 90 percent of prostate cancers are discovered early on when it is most treatable. Regardless of the stage of your prostate cancer, our center is dedicated to providing the highest-quality care each step of your treatment, through a customized treatment plan that promises the best chance for your recovery.

Our center is at the forefront of research in prostate cancer. Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center is one of only a few cancer centers in the United States to receive a prostate cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) grant through Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. This grant not only recognizes Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center’s excellence in prostate cancer research but also enables the center to continue paving the way in researching new diagnosis methods and treatments for our patients. Our center also has a vast prostate cancer research database of over 8,000 genitourinary cancer tissue and blood samples to push the boundaries of the clinical landscape for our patients.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer that develops in the tissues of the prostate, which is a walnut-sized male sex gland just below the bladder, in front of the rectum and surrounding the upper part of the urethra (a tube that carries urine and semen through the penis and out of the body). Prostate cancer occurs when a normal prostate cell begins to grow out of control. Prostate cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer that is generally discovered when it is easiest to treat and cure, before spreading to other parts of the body.

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system, which also includes the penis, seminal vesicles (glands that produce semen) and testicles. The prostate produces fluid that makes up most of semen, which protects and carries sperm.

Nearly all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, which is a cancer that starts in the lining of internal organs. The tumors start in gland cells that make the prostate fluid. Other very rare types of prostate cancer include neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), small cell carcinomas, transitional cell carcinomas and sarcomas. Given that the vast majority of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, the information on this webpage — from associated risk factors to treatment options — is centered on this type of cancer. Learn more about prostate cancer.

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