Androgen is a steroid hormone, such as testosterone or androsterone, that controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics. Androgen is the generic term for any natural or synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone, that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics in vertebrates by binding to androgen receptors. This includes the activity of the accessory male sex organs and development of male secondary sex characteristics.
Androgens were first discovered in 1936. Androgens are also the original anabolic steroids and the precursor of all estrogens, the female sex hormones. The primary and most well-known androgen is testosterone. Androgen ablation can be used as an effective therapy in prostate cancer.