PHOTOGRAPHY: everyday health
WORDS BY: MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN
If you are a male, 40 to 50 years old, you should discuss with your family practitioner or urologist any of your urinary or prostate concerns and establish an annual testing program.
The prostate gland is an essential part of the male reproductive system. The prostate gland, as it is commonly called, is not really a gland at all, but an organ that consists of about 70% glandular tissue and 30% fibromuscular tissue.
In an adult male, it is about the size and shape of a walnut and weighs about 20 grams. It is located directly beneath that male bladder and in front of the rectum.
A thick fibrous capsule surrounds the prostate. The glandular tissue of the prostate secretes a fluid that contributes 20-30% of the total volume of seminal fluid released when a man ejaculates. This prostate fluid is continuously generated by the prostate but increases during sexual excitement.
There are 3 major health problems associated with the male prostate gland may be divided into 3 main categories:
- ENLARGEMENT OF THE PROSTATE, CALLED BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA, OR BPH
- PROSTATITIS OR INFLAMMATION OF THE PROSTATE
- PROSTATE CANCER IS CURRENTLY THE SECOND LEADING DEATH FROM CANCER IN MEN ( THE FIRST BEING LUNG CANCER)
For these reasons, the American Cancer Society, and the American Urological Association currently recommended that healthy men begin an annual program of rectal examination after age 40. They also recommend a rectal exam and a simple blood test, to monitor prostate-specific antigen levels (called PSA) , after age 50.