March 10, 2008

What You Should Know About Your Prostate

The prostate gland is located in the body below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra which is the conduit for urine from the bladder. The prostate provides fluid found in semen and can be the cause of problems in many men, especially as they age.

The prostate is about the size of a walnut in a young healthy man but it slowly gets larger as you get older. This expansion can cause problems with the urinary system. At the age of 70, almost 40% of men show a prostate growth which can be detected by physical exam.

There are several prostate problems which commonly affect men 50 years and older. The likelihood of having prostate problems increases the older you get. Some problems can be relatively easy to get rid of, while others such as prostate cancer can be deadly. The trouble is that practically all the symptoms associated with these different prostate problems are similar so you have no way of telling how serious your particular problem is, therefore it is vital that you see your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this article.

Since the prostate wraps around the urethra, many of the symptoms of prostate disease have to do with urination. Some symptoms you might have may include frequent urination, blood in urine or semen, burning sensation while urinating, pain in the pelvis, upper thighs or lower back, pain during ejaculation, trouble stopping or starting urination and not being able to urinate at all.

One of the problems you may experience is called Prostatitis ad is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Acute bacterial prostatitis is an infection caused by bacteria. Prostatitis can cause fever, chills, lower back pain and also pain during urination. A repeated infection of the prostate gland is called chronic bacterial prostatitis. Nonbacterial prostatitis can cause prostate inflammation, but usually without any symptoms of infection. Difficulties may be urinary difficulty such as painful urination.

Benign prostate hyperplasia (BHP) is another problem that can result in ongoing tension on the urethra. This 'squeezing' may is attributed to problems in beginning urination, nightly increased urination as well as a proclivity to dribble afterwards.

Of all the problems associated with the prostate gland, prostate cancer is the most serious and will affect 1 in 6 males. In it's early stages, prostate cancer may not have any symptoms but does have a high cure rate if caught early enough, thus proper checkups with your doctor are important.

The treatment course for prostate cancer differs depending on the location and size of the tumor as well as the patients health. If the tumor is small and has not spread out side the prostate, the surgery will probably be performed to remove the tumor. This may cure the cancer and may be combined with some other treatment as a safety measure.

In older men with slow growing prostate cancer, the best option might be to just watch the cancer without treating it. If it is causing no symptoms and slow growing then harsh treatments may do more harm to the patient than good.

Radiotherapy is a method used to treat prostate cancer that aims radiation at the tumor in the hopes of shrinking it or slowing the growth. While chemotherapy has not historically been shown to be much of a help in treating prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be used in some cases to shrink the tumor and slow growth.

Treatment for any prostate problem depends on your particular situation. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above you should call your doctor right away so that you can have the best chance for a speedy recovery!

About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about different types of prostate conditions.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button