June is Men's Health Month. It's aimed at educating men about preventable health issues and the importance of talking to your doctor. This also makes it the perfect time to review some crucial facts about the prostate gland.
Only men have a prostate. This walnut-shaped gland is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body.
The prostate's main job is to help make fluid for semen to help protect and energize the sperm. Semen protects the sperm so it can fertilize the egg and form a new life. The seminal vesicles, found next to the prostate, also add fluid to semen.
Men who have any problems when urinating should talk to their health care provider about their prostate health. Because of its location inside the pelvis, there are no self-exams for men to check their own prostate. Health care providers use two tests to check prostate health. They are the digital rectal examination (DRE) and a blood test called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
African-Americans and men with a family history are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Men without these risk factors benefit most from screening for prostate cancer between the ages of 55 and 69.
Read the latest issue of UrologyHealth extra for facts on what happens during a prostate cancer screening examine.