What is the prostate?

prostata_2prostata_2The prostate is a sexual accessory gland of the male reproductive system that, in an adult male, is similar in size and shape to a chestnut, weighing between approximately 12 and 20 grams.It is situated below the bladder at the beginning of the urethra, behind the pubic bone and in front of the anal canal.Its structure is similar to a sponge, formed by thousands of small cavities where prostatic secretions are formed and then emptied into the prostatic urethra via dozens of small channels.

prostata_3prostata_3In 1953 the Spanish urologist Salvador Gil Vernetdemonstrated that the prostate gland is not homogeneous and is actually composed of three well differentiated zones: the cranial zone and the intermediate zone, where benign growth occurs, and the caudal zone, the primary site of malignant growth.

Its development and growth, which begins in puberty, is controlled by male sexual hormones (testosterone).All mammals have a prostate, but the pathologic processes of benign hyperplasia and cancer develop only in humans and canines.