What does the prostate do and can it be removed? – The sun
THE prostate is a reproductive gland, located between the penis and the bladder, which helps produce sperm.
All men have this walnut-sized gland, but few know how it works or what happens if it is removed. Here is the truth…
What does the prostate do?
The prostate is a small muscular gland located between the base of the penis and the bladder, surrounding the urethra.
Its role is to secrete prostatic fluid which is one of the components of semen.
The main function of the prostate is to produce thick white fluid which mixes with semen produced in the testicles to create semen.
The muscles of the prostate help propel this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation.
As men age, their prostates often enlarge.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPE) causes men to urinate more frequently and is a common medical condition in men over 50.
However, BPE does not make a patient more likely to develop prostate cancer.
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown, although research suggests it is linked to obesity and family history.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER
According to Cancer Research UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with more than 52,000 new cases each year.
in 2021, The Sun revealed that more than half of men don’t know where the prostate is.
Can we live without a prostate?
Although the prostate is essential for reproduction, it is not essential for life.
In cases where the cancer is confined to the prostate, it can be surgically removed through a prostatectomy.
A radical prostatectomy involves removing the entire prostate, surrounding tissue and some of the seminal vesicles.
Alternatively, laser prostatectomies may be effective as the least invasive type of prostate removal.
The most common prostatectomy is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
TURPs involve the removal of part of the prostate using a resectoscope which is passed through the urethra – this procedure is commonly used for people with an enlarged prostate.
In some cases, prostate cancer can be treated with radiation therapy.
What happens when you remove it?
In some cases prostate cancer can be managed, but if there is a rapidly growing tumor and the cancer has not spread, removal is often the best option.
According to Prostate Cancer UK, side effects of prostate surgery can include: erectile problems, incontinence and decreased libido.
Bladder control problems immediately after surgery are common, but are said to improve over time.
Prostate Caner UK advises doing pelvic floor exercises before surgery to help recovery and prevent urinary problems.
After removing the prostate, the patient will often be cured of prostate cancer.
But side effects of prostate removal include: urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction as well as loss of sexual sensitivity and libido.
Because the prostate is necessary for reproduction, it is not possible for a man to have children naturally after having a prostatectomy.
It is important to make an appointment with your GP if you have symptoms of prostate cancer.
According to the NHS website, symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
- Need to urinate more frequently, often at night
- need to rush to the toilet
- difficulty starting to urinate (hesitation)
- straining or taking a long time peeing
- low flow
- feeling that your bladder has not emptied completely
- blood in urine or blood in semen