NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,863 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

The tube through which urine leaves the body. It empties urine from the bladder.

EnlargeDistal and proximal urethra. Drawing on the left shows the female proximal and distal urethra; also shown are the bladder filled with urine, the ureters, and the uterus. Cross-section drawing on the right shows the male proximal and distal urethra. Also shown are the rectum, prostate gland, penis, and testis.

Anatomy of the distal and proximal urethra. Urine flows out of the bladder and leaves the body through the urethra. The part of the urethra that is closest to the bladder is called the proximal urethra. The part that is closest to where the urine leaves the body is called the distal urethra. The urethra is about 8 inches long in men and about 1½ inches long in women.