What is it?
The prostate gland is the size of a walnut and sits at the base of the male bladder, and the urethra (that the urine flows out of) passes through it. Its primary function is to provide nourishing fluid, which seems to keep the sperm alive.
What can go wrong?
The prostate can become infected (called prostatitis) or more commonly can become bigger, and sometimes this is a result of cancer. In fact, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Most people over the age of 60 years will experience some degree of prostatic enlargement that causes an alteration in their normal urinating pattern. Sometimes your problem may be due to certain medications you are taking, like those used for depression or Parkinson’s disease, or even cold and flu preparations, and alcohol can also play havoc with this area.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
– needing to go to pass urine more often
– waking to pass urine at night
– A sense of urgency in needing to urinate
– Trouble in starting the flow of urine
– A poor urine stream
– dribbling of urine from the end of the penis
– Infection of the urine, with pain when urinating
– A sudden inability to pass urine at all
What are the risks of getting cancer of the prostate?
A family history of prostatic cancer is found in up to 20% of prostate cancer patients. It is thought that 5-10% of all prostate cancer is due to the inheritance of a particular gene, yet to be identified. If your brother or your father has it, then your risk increases significantly. Diets high in saturated fats (i.e. animal fats) have been shown to be associated with cancer.
How can I be tested for cancer?
If there is a family history, you should be screened from the age of 40. This involves a yearly rectal examination by your doctor (using a finger to feel if the prostate is larger than it should be), and a blood test to check the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen – this is raised if the prostate is enlarged). Most men who are found to have cancer after this type of screening have no symptoms at this time. All other men should be screened from the age of 50, on a yearly basis.
What is the prognosis?
Like most cancers, early detection can lead to a curative treatment of either surgery or radiotherapy. If it is not cancer but the non-cancerous form of enlargement (called benign hypertrophy), then 1 in 3 cases will require surgery, and the prognosis is good. There are also many new drugs which can shrink the good form of prostate enlargement. Read more and visit this healthandcaretips.com/ blog which provide you ultimate additional information to know more about prognosis.