The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It is a gland that surrounds the urethra, which carries urine. It produces a fluid which both protects and enriches sperm. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut but it usually increases in size as men get older. Some of the common problems include:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. This can cause problems with urination, making it difficult to urinate or making you feel as if you need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Besides an enlarged prostate, you can have fever, chills and pain. You may have blood in your urine or might feel pain when urinating.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a recurring bacterial infection of the prostate. It can be difficult to treat and might require long-term antibiotics.
Chronic prostatitis is also called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. You might have pain in the lower back, the groin area or at the tip of the penis. Ejaculation may be painful and you might feel that you need to urinate frequently but find it difficult to pass urine.
These conditions often involve an enlarged prostate and have similar symptoms:
- Urinating frequently during the night
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Difficulty starting to urinate or slow flow of urine
- Pain when urinating
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculations
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Decreased sex drive
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor. The previous conditions can cause discomfort but are not usually dangerous. However, besides checking for these common illnesses, your doctor might also check for prostate cancer. If he believes you might have prostate cancer, he might recommend tests such as an ultrasound and tests to assess prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. Some doctors suggest that all men under the age of 75 should have annual PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is common in men over the age of 50, especially African Americans and those who eat fatty food. Those who have a male family member (father or brother) with prostate problems are more at risk for developing prostate problems.
Prostate cancer can be treated in a number of ways. Your doctor might recommend surgery to remove your prostate and nearby tissue. He may also suggest radiation treatment to kill cancer cells and shrink any tumors. During treatment, your doctor might also treat you with medications that will stop testosterone production. If so, he might suggest hormone therapy
Because prostate cancer can appear without any symptoms, it is important to have regular check-ups and to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are associated with an enlarged prostate.
“Prostate Problems,” Reviewed 2014, Jan. 6, Staff Writer, MedicineNet.com
“The Prostate – What is It?” Date Unknown, Staff Writer, Prostate.org
Published On: October 01, 2014