Right at the base of a man's bladder there rests a sac and the urethra runs through it. Within this sac is a "seminal fluid" which is discharged into the urethra as the sperm is released, during orgasm, from the "ejaculatory ducts". Because the sperm travels through the urethra, where the urine also travels, the seminal fluid released by the prostate gland protects the actual sperm from acidic damage. The woman's vagina also has acidic fluids and the seminal fluid protects the sperm there also.
So the prostate gland functions as a protective organ during sexual encounter to ensure propagation of the race.
The prostate gland itself is said to be about the size of a "walnut", however it does increase in size as a man ages and this can cause problems with blockage of the urethra.
The prostate gland is made up of "non-striped muscle and fibrous tissue". Immediately below the sheath of the gland is a layer of "circular fibers". The prostate gland itself is strongly constructed. The arteries supplying the prostate are "derived from the internal pudendal, inferior vesicle and middle hemorrhoidal". -Grays Anatomy, About.com
There are instances where the prostate gland must be removed completely. In these instances, impotence can occur as well as difficulty controlling urine, heart attack, stroke and blood clots in the leg.
African-American men should be concerned with prostate cancer at about age 40 and plan for a yearly screening. In all others, it is advised to be screened for prostate problems at 50.
Unfortunately, the best way to detect cancer of the prostate is with the Digital Rectal Exam. Which involves a doctor's gloved finger. As terribly ill-mannered as this procedure may seem, it is necessary. Another unfortunate aspect is that many times, the cancer is not detected.
This is an area where science really needs to speed things up a bit. If one cannot fix one's brother, I think cloning him is putting the cart before the horse and voila, there you have another man with a prostate.
Prostate cancers apparently produce a higher amount of a chemical called PSA. There is a PSA test, unfortunately, it seems to highlight many other issues and can indicate cancer where perhaps there is none. Or not detect it.
Luckily, a team of researchers at John Hopkins Hospital claim to have come up with a blood test that is much more accurate and certainly much less intrusive than anything doctors have had in the past to detect prostate cancer. Frankly, I think that it is high time. Sometimes, what man does to man is amazing indeed. If nothing gives you an indication about why doctors and men in particular expect women to be so tough, perhaps this issue will cause you thought.
Sources: Gray's [email protected] adam.about.com www.bio-medicine.org www.prostate.org