SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES THE PROSTATE EVEN DO?
After the reproductive years, the prostate doesn’t do a darn thing except cause problems, such as bothersome urinary symptoms & cancer. In a later post, I will discuss how the prostate causes urinary symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, weak stream, trouble getting stream started & getting up at night to pee. I will also be posting frequently about prostate cancer.
But today I am going to briefly explain what the prostate is & what purpose it actually serves.
The prostate of a young man is typically around 30 grams and the size of a chestnut, but grows continuously throughout a man’s life. It sits at the base of the bladder & surrounds the first part of the urethra, right where urine leaves the bladder.
The prostate is a gland. A gland, by definition, is an organ that produces a chemical substance used in another region of the body. The prostate produces substances that support the sperm & help to liquify the semen.
One of these substances is prostate-specific antigen, also known as PSA. The levels of PSA released by the prostate into the bloodstream can be measured as a screening test for prostate cancer. An elevated PSA number can be an early sign of prostate cancer. The American Urological Association recommends that men have a PSA level checked yearly by blood test starting no later than age 50, earlier for men at higher risk of prostate cancer.
The prostate is attached to a pair of hollow structures that store semen, called seminal vesicles, which release semen into the urethra when a man ejaculates. It is also attached to the vas deferens, which carry sperm from the testes to the prostate.
Clearly, the prostate is necessary for reproduction, but not much else.
Prostate health, prostate cancer screening, and symptoms related to an enlarged prostate are typically best managed by a urologist.
More to come…