The prostate is a small, ping-pong ball-sized gland nestled in the groin between the rectum and the base of the penis; its major function is to provide the body with seminal fluid, which supplies sperm with the ideal consistency and surroundings for its travel and survival with the ultimate goal of fertilizing an egg. But how is the prostate set up anatomically?
The prostate has six major surfaces:
- The apex, which faces downwards and touches the urogenital diaphragm’s superior fascia
- The base, which faces upwards near the bladder’s inferior surface, and this surface’s larger section is continuous with the bladder wall.
- An anterior.
- A posterior.
- Two lateral surfaces.
The seminal vesicles sit atop the prostate; these structures are shaped like rabbit ears and are responsible for depositing and secreting the majority of the body’s ejaculate. The neurovascular bundle, a conglomerate of nerves and vessels that run along the prostate on either side, help control erectile function. In some men, the neurovascular bundle is attached directly to the prostate, while in others, the nerves are just sitting closely. Their proximity to an individual’s prostate has no effect on its normal function or any impact on prostate cancer (should one be diagnosed with the disease). The urethra, which shuttles not only urine but also semen out of the body, threads through the prostate.
The word “prostate” comes from the Greek word “prostates,” which means guardian or protector; the prostate was named such in a nod to its position in front of the bladder.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer at some point during his lifetime. The ACS also estimated that, in 2019, there were about 1.7 million new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States alone, about 174,650 of which were prostate cancer.
All of the Ezra scans screen the prostate for cancerous and precancerous conditions; you can learn more about our screening options here.