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The prostate is a walnut sized organ that is a part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is located below below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. In all men with aging, the prostate gland enlarges due to normal hormonal changes and other factors. This condition is called enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
When the prostate gland enlarges it squeezes the urethral tube and causes difficulty voiding, frequency of urination and getting up often at night (nocturia). When BPH is severe, it may stop the flow of urination and the man goes into urinary retention. BPH is a benign condition that is not associated with cancer and is treated with medications. If BPH is severe, surgical procedures may be required. The condition of BPH occurs mostly in the region of the prostate close to the urethra called the transition zone. Prostate cancer occurs in the area of the prostate outside the transition zone called the peripheral zone.
What is the Prostate?
In men with ENLARGED PROSTATE or BPH the flow of urine is partially blocked by growth of the prostate squeezing the urethral tube. This gradually worsens over time and causes symptoms. Initially there is slow flow, and frequency due to incomplete emptying. With time this leads to difficulty emptying, increased frequency at night, post void dribbling, and urinary leakage. Eventually there is a chance of urinary infection, and sepsis due to retained urine in the bladder. Other signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate include blood in the urine and and straining to urinate.
The healthy human prostate weighs between 10-20 grams. The gland is shaped like an inverted cone and lies between the bladder and pelvic floor. It consists of cells arranged in columns surrounding a lumen (central passageway). This arrangement of cells is termed as prostatic glands.
The glands are surrounded by a lining of smooth muscle tissue and a capsule (fibro elastic stroma) that gives the gland its shape. The glands are arranged with their openings into the prostatic urethra, which is the portion of the urethral tube passing through the prostate.
The smooth muscles contract during ejaculation to empty the prostatic glands of their secretion and this is the prostatic fluid. Many such glands are present in the prostate and together they form the whole prostate. The prostate rests on the pelvic floor that has larger muscles. Both the prostatic muscles and the pelvic muscles contract during ejaculation to expel the prostatic fluid.
Why is the prostate important?
The prostate is an organ present in men that is useful for helping men have children. The prostate and seminal vesicles produce most of the fluid during ejaculation and this fluid is required for nourishing sperm. The prostate is important because two of the most common diseases affecting men occur within the prostate; namely, benign prostatic enlargement and prostate cancer.
The prostate is also located in an area surrounded by important nerves and muscles. Injury to these muscles and nerves due to prostate disease or treatment can cause impotence and urinary incontinence. It is therefore important to know the following:
how to keep your prostate healthy
what to do when you have symptoms of urinary difficultly
when to check for prostate cancer
what is the latest in treatment
where you can get the best therapy
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in man and accounts for the second largest number of deaths from all cancers. It is important to stay up to date with latest information, and to also keep an eye on your health, so you can catch any unusual symptoms early. We would love to answer any questions that you might have about prostate cancer, so please call our toll free number, (844) HIFU-FLA, today!
To learn more about prostate cancer and prostate anatomy, please click the following links for more information.