Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for reference purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice.
In men aged over 50, prostate problems are common.
The prostate gland is a walnut shaped gland found in men and trans women.
It has a number of responsibilities including producing a white fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen.
It surrounds the urethra (the tubes that carry urine out of the body) and is located just below the bladder.
The prostate can be enlarged by infection or inflammation.
Enlarged prostates may cause difficulty passing urine, blood in the urine, painful ejaculation, frequent urination and urinary tract infections.
There are a number of medical conditions that affect the prostate, including:
- Prostate Enlargement
- Prostate Cancer
In this article, we’ll be looking at each of these medical conditions in turn, including a brief overview of what they are, and potential treatments.
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. This condition can occur as a result of bacterial infection, which usually occurs after sexual intercourse.
This type of infection is called acute bacterial prostatitis.
Acute bacterial prostatitis is also known as BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic bacterial prostatitis, prostatodynia or prostatitis cystica.
Acute bacterial prostatitis causes pain around the penis, testicles, and scrotum. Pain can sometimes spread down into the thighs.
Acute bacterial prostatitis often lasts between one week and three months. Some people experience symptoms for longer than three months.
If you have had acute bacterial prostatitis, it’s important to get your doctor’s help right away.
Treatment includes antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics.
If left untreated, acute bacterial prostatitis can lead to more serious complications such as sepsis (a potentially life-threatening complication).
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a long term form of prostatitis.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is caused when bacteria from the digestive system enter the prostate through the urethra.
Symptoms include pain around the genitals, backache, fever, weight loss and poor appetite. In some cases, chronic bacterial prostatitis can progress to cancer.
Treatment options include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and surgery. Surgery involves removing part of the prostate gland.
Prostate enlargement is the growth of the prostate gland. The prostate gland produces a liquid that mixes with sperm to produce semen.
Enlarged prostate glands can block the flow of urine from the bladder. This can make it difficult to pass urine.
Enlarged prostate glands can also press on nearby nerves causing pain and discomfort.
Men who experience prostate enlargement will need to talk to their doctors about treatment options.
Some of the most common treatments include:
- Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Surgical Removal
Surgical removal of the prostate gland is only recommended if other treatments do not work.
If you choose surgical removal of the prostate gland, you should expect recovery time to take up to six weeks.
These medications reduce swelling and relieve pain by reducing the amount of chemicals produced by the body.
Anti-Inflammatory drugs include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Corticosteroid medication reduces swelling and relieves pain by decreasing inflammation.
Corticosteroids are available over the counter without prescription. They may cause side effects such as nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Prostate cancer is a disease where abnormal cells grow within the prostate gland.
These abnormal cells can become malignant (cancerous) and spread throughout the body.
The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. It’s estimated that 1 in 7 men over 50 years old will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there were approximately 241,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the United States last year.
There are two main types of prostate cancer — localized and advanced. Localized prostate cancer grows slowly and may not cause any problems.
Advanced prostate cancer spreads quickly and can be fatal.
There are several ways to detect if you have prostate cancer.
Your doctor will check your blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and perform a digital rectal exam.
They’ll look at the size and shape of your prostate using ultrasound imaging.
You may also be asked to provide a sample of your urine. Prostate cancer can be detected early by performing a biopsy.
A biopsy is a simple procedure where a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate. This tissue is examined under a microscope to see if it contains cancer cells.
If the biopsy shows that you do have prostate cancer, then you’ll need to discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Prostate Cancer Treatments
Depending on the type of prostate cancer you have, different treatments may be recommended. Some of these treatments include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone Therapy
- Watchful Waiting
In general, the earlier prostate cancer is found, the better chance of survival. For this reason, regular screening for prostate cancer is important.
If you’re concerned about having prostate cancer, talk to your doctor. They can help determine whether you should get screened or start taking action now.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk to a urologist to find out more information about your condition.
In this article, we’ve discussed what the prostate is, where it is located, and the three main medical conditions that cause prostate disease.
If you’re a male aged 50 plus, it is important that you get regular screening for the above conditions.
You can prevent many diseases through healthy lifestyle choices.
By eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and maintaining an active social life, you can improve your overall health.
Healthy habits can also reduce the risk of certain conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers.
As mentioned in the disclaimer, the information contained in this article is intended for reference purposes only.
If you have any concerns it is important to consult a medical professional for advice.
Thank you for reading!