The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that functions in the male reproductive system. It is positioned in front of the rectum and directly below the bladder, which stores urine. The prostate also encircles the proximal urethra, the canal which carries urine from the bladder and through the penis.
Three distinct zones of glandular tissue make up the prostate: the peripheral zone, central zone, and transition zone. Additionally, there is an area of fibromuscular tissue on the anterior surface. Each anatomic zone is uniquely affected by different disease processes. The majority of prostate cancers develop in the peripheral zone, the largest zone by volume, while benign prostatic hyperplasia originates in the transition zone.
The prostate produces the thick, milky-white alkaline fluid that forms part of semen. The fluid provides nourishment to sperm and, along with fluid from the bulbourethral (Cowper’s)...
References and Readings
- Gacci, M., Bartoletti, R., Figlioli, S., Sarti, E., Eisner, B., Boddi, V., et al. (2003). Urinary symptoms, quality of life and sexual function in patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy before and after prostatectomy: A prospective study. British Journal of Urology International, 91, 196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tanagho, E. A., & McAninch, J. W. (Eds.). (2008). Smith’s general urology (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar