prostate gland

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prostate gland,

gland that is part of the male reproductive systemreproductive system,
in animals, the anatomical organs concerned with production of offspring. In humans and other mammals the female reproductive system produces the female reproductive cells (the eggs, or ova) and contains an organ in which development of the fetus takes
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. It is an organ about the size of a chestnut and consists of glandular and muscular tissue. It is situated below the neck of the bladder, encircling the urethra. The prostate produces a thin, milky, alkaline fluid that is secreted into the urethra at the time of emission of semen, providing an added medium for the life and motility of sperm. It is probable that prostatic fluid enhances fertility since the fluid flowing from the testes and seminal vesicles is acidic and sperm are not optimally mobile unless their medium is relatively alkaline.

In men over 50 enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy) is common. Sometimes the result is pressure on the urethra and bladder, which interferes with urination, precipitating urinary retention and kidney disease. Transurethral resection of the prostate, an effective surgical procedure, can lead to sexual problems. Less invasive procedures are available to for removing prostate tissue or reducing the pressure caused by it, and medication with alpha blockers, finasteride (Proscar), and other drugs or drug combinnations may be effective. See also prostate cancerprostate cancer,
cancer originating in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignancies in men in the United States, second only to skin cancer, and as a cause of cancer death in men is second only to lung cancer.
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, prostatitisprostatitis
, inflammation of the prostate gland. Acute prostatitis is usually a result of infection in the urinary tract or infection carried by the blood; in many cases the infection spreads from the urethra and is contracted through sexual transmission.
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See J. P. Blandy and B. Lytton, The Prostate (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Prostate gland

A triangular body in men, the size and shape of a chestnut, that lies immediately in front of the bladder with its apex directed down and forward. It is found only in the male, having no female counterpart. The prostatic portion of the urethra extends through it, passing from the bladder to the penis. This organ contains 15–20 branched, tubular glands which form lobules. The gland ducts open into the urethra. Between the gland clusters, or alveoli, there is a dense, fibrous, connecting tissue, the stroma, which also forms a tough capsule around the gland, continuous with the bladder wall. Penetrating the prostate to empty into the urethra are the ejac-ulatory ducts from the seminal vesicles which are located above and behind the organ (see illustration). The prostatic gland secretes a viscid, alkaline fluid which aids in sperm motility and in neutralizing the acidity of the vagina, thus enhancing fertilization. After middle age, the prostate is sometimes subject to new tissue growth, usually benign, that may result in interference with urine flow through the compressed urethra.

Prostate gland and seminal vesiclesenlarge picture
Prostate gland and seminal vesicles
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prostate Gland


an unpaired gland of the male sexual apparatus. It is located in the pelvis, between the fundus of the urinary bladder and the ampulla of the rectum; it closely surrounds the neck of the bladder and the posterior section of the urinary canal. The length of the prostate gland is 4–4.5 cm., width 2–3.5 cm., thickness 1.7–2.5 cm., and weight 17–28 g.

The prostate gland is formed of 30 to 50 separate lobules, or glandules, of various size that lie in a dense connective-tissue base with a large number of smooth muscle fibers. The excretory ducts of the prostate empty into the prostatic portion of the urinary canal. Blood is supplied through the inferior vesical and middle rectal arteries; venous efflux is into the system of the internal iliac vein. The lymphatic vessels go to the lymph nodes of the pelvis. The prostate gland is innervated by the iliac nerve. The secretion of the prostate gland plays an important role in ensuring the viability of spermatozoa in the seminal fluid by the liquefaction of semen and the increase in its volume. The most common diseases of the prostate are prostatitis, tumors (such as adenoma), and stones.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Using TRUS to "see" the prostate gland, the doctor quickly inserts a thin, hollow needle through the wall of the rectum and into the prostate.
After basic dimensions are obtained, the actual size of prostate gland can be calculated from an equation volume (cm3) = [(L + W + D)/2.6] + 1.8 where:
Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in a man's blood or the physical exam of the prostate gland. If the PSA level in your blood is too high or abnormal physical exam of the prostate gland, this suggests that the cells in the prostate are behaving unusually.
The prostate gland can be examined by a doctor feeling it through the front wall of the rectum.
Before UroNav, physicians relied primarily upon transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to visualize the prostate gland and sample multiple areas of the prostate in an effort to detect possible cancer cells.
Sleep deprivation is strongly associated with marked reduction in the levels of androgens2 but also leads to decrease in the weight of accessory sex glands especially the prostate gland. This indicates reduced steroidogenesis or diminished expression of androgens in the target glands.
In a previous study, we have demonstrated that continuous kisspeptin exposure causes degeneration of prostate gland as evidenced by increased tubular lumen and decrease in epithelial height and epithelial folds in the mucosa (Ramzan et al., 2012).
Methods: In this study 53 patients were evaluated at Fatima Memorial Hospital Lahore, who came with urinary retention due to enlarged prostate gland as result of benign hyperplasia.
Direct prostate gland biopsies most commonly occur with transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guidance.
The bulk of prostatic fluid is created in and secreted from the outermost region of the prostate gland, the so-called "peripheral zone," which is also the source of most prostate cancer development and progression.
Common prostate conditions can lead to urinary problems and inflammation of the prostate gland, which in some cases can lead to cancer.