HEALTH [Understanding Your Body] Prostate 2024.07.02

Watch: [Understanding Your Body] Prostate

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A condition suffered by more than half of men over their 60s.

A disease that ranks 5th in cancer incidence among South Korean men.


These are all caused by problems in the male reproductive organ, the prostate.


Particularly common with aging, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

is a degenerative disease that many men experience.


If you have difficulty urinating, frequently visit the bathroom at night,

or find it hard to hold urine, you might suspect a prostate condition.


The prostate, which weighs around 20g and is about the size of a walnut,

Let's explore the secrets hidden within this small prostate.


The male reproductive system consists of the sperm-producing testes

and their accessory organs such as the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis.


The prostate, also called the prostate gland, plays a crucial role

in the male reproductive system by contributing to the excretion of urine and semen.


Located beneath the bladder and palpable from the rectum,

the prostate resembles a chestnut in shape.

A regular adult’s prostate weighs about 15 to 20g and is about 4 cm long.


The interior of the prostate, surrounding the urethra, resembles a sponge.

These tiny glandular tissues, clustered like a beehive, are the factory that produces prostatic fluid.


Prostatic fluid is one of the components that accounts for 15 to 30% of semen.


The prostatic fluid serves two primary functions.


One of the most critical functions of prostatic fluid is to support the survival of sperm.


When first produced in the testes, sperms are immature,

lacking independent motility and reproductive ability.


It is the prostatic fluid that supplies sufficient nutrition to these sperms and enhances their motility.


The second function of prostatic fluid is its antibacterial activity.


The citric acid and zinc in prostatic fluid create a barrier

in the urethra, bladder, epididymis, and other areas,

protecting sperms from bacteria and promoting their motility.


The prostate, which sits just below the bladder and envelops the urethra,

is in the path of semen and urine.

Therefore, any problems with the size or function of the prostate

can lead to symptoms affecting both semen and urine.


As men age, their prostate gradually increases in size,

a condition medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).


This enlarged prostate puts pressure on the urethra, making it difficult to urinate.


As a result, men may find themselves frequently visiting the bathroom day and night,

yet experiencing a sensation of incomplete feeling of urination.


However, if left untreated, not only the prostate but also the bladder and kidney function can deteriorate,

so early diagnosis is essential for medication or surgical treatment.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is closely related to a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet.


Therefore, increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish rather than red meat

can be helpful in preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).


Along with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH),

another common condition affecting men is prostate cancer.


Over the past decade in South Korea, the incidence of prostate cancer

has risen more rapidly than any other cancer,

with a three-fold to four-fold increase in deaths.


For this reason, experts have released guidelines for preventing prostate cancer.


If you are over 50 or have a family history of prostate cancer,

regular medical screenings are advisable.

If you are 75 years or older and have no symptoms,

it may be fine to skip screenings for prostate cancer.


Also, reducing red meat consumption, eating fresh fruits and vegetables,

and incorporating regular exercise can help prevent prostate cancer.