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What is the prostate gland?

The prostate gland is a male sex gland. It produces a thick fluid that forms the majority part of the semen. The normal prostate in a young male has is a walnut-sized gland, and a normal prostate gland measures approximately 20 cc. The average prostate in a patient with prostate cancer is approximately 40 cc in size. The prostate gland is located below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder. 

The prostate is generally divided into four distinct zones. The peripheral portion makes up about 70% of the glandular prostate and is the source of most prostate cancer. The central portion makes approximately 25% of the glandular prostate and may be involved with cancer. The anterior portion is the non-glandular potion and prostate cancer rarely originates from the anterior zone. The transitional zone is the portion of the prostate surrounds the urethra. It makes up about 5% of the glandular prostate and is the major location for the benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).

The prostate needs male hormone to function. The main male hormone is testosterone, which is made mainly by the testicles. Approximately 10% of male hormones are produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands, which are located about our kidneys. 

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