Seminal Vesicle

A seminal vesicle is a small tubular gland located near the prostate

Section of human seminal vesicles seen under a microscope. Credit: De Agostini Picture Library / Contributor / Getty Images

A seminal vesicle is one of a pair of small tubular glands that are near the prostate. The primary function of the seminal vesicles involves the production of fluid that makes up a significant percentage of semen. The seminal vesicles are an early place of metastasis or spread of prostate cancer.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer develops in the prostate — a small gland that makes seminal fluid.

It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows over time and in the beginning usually stays within the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Prostate cancer that is caught early has a better chance of successful treatment.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:

  • Older age. Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.
  • Being black. Black men have a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
  • Family history of prostate or breast cancer. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
  • Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that's more difficult to treat.

Complications From Prostate Cancer

Complications of prostate cancer and its treatments include:

  • Cancer that spreads (metastasizes). Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs, or through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. If prostate cancer travels to other areas of the body, it can be controlled but is unlikely to be cured.
  • Incontinence. Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment options include medications, catheters and surgery.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be a result of prostate cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation or hormone treatments. Medications, vacuum devices that assist in achieving erection and surgery are available to treat erectile dysfunction.


Mayo Clinic. Prostate Cancer.

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