What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
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Causes Of Benign Prostate Enlargement
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition’s development.
Hormones are powerful chemicals that can have a wide range of effects on the cells of the body.
One theory is that as some men get older, the levels of a type of hormone called dihydrotestosterone increases, which may stimulate the growth of the prostate.
Another theory suggests that two hormones, testosterone and oestrogen, play a role. Younger men produce high levels of testosterone and much smaller levels of oestrogen. But as men get older, their levels of testosterone decrease, which means they then have a higher proportion of oestrogen in their body. It’s been suggested that the relative increase in oestrogen may stimulate prostate growth.
About Half Of Men Older Than 50 Have An Enlarged Prostate Here Are Some Of The Basic Facts You Need To Know About This Common Condition
As men age, many experience prostate gland enlargement. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia .
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine out of the body. When the prostate gets bigger, it can squeeze or partially block the urethra, which leads to problems urinating.
BPH is quite common in older men. In fact, the condition impacts about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60. For men 80 and older, the prevalence of BPH is approximately 90%, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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Latest Mens Health News
At the start, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may have trouble urinating. Some men need to urinate often, especially at night. Others have pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis, and painful ejaculation.
To find out if these symptoms are caused by prostate cancer, your doctor will ask about your past medical problems and your familys medical history. He or she will perform a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will put a gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate for hard or lumpy areas.
Your doctor may also do a blood test to check the prostate-specific antigen level. PSA levels can be high in men with an enlarged prostate gland or with prostate cancer. You may also need an ultrasound exam that takes computer pictures of the prostate.
If tests show that you might have cancer, your doctor will want to confirm this with a biopsy. He or she will take out tiny pieces of the prostate to look for cancer cells. Your doctor may want to do a biopsy again to re-check the results.
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether cancer is in part or all of the prostate or if it has spread to other parts of the body. It also depends on your age and overall health. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment choice for you. You may want to ask another doctor for a second opinion.
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If You Are Diagnosed With Bph
Taken together, these tests will help your doctor determine whether you have BPH and if you do, how severe it is. If you have BPH, your doctor should provide you with information on whether simply monitoring your symptoms is a reasonable option, or whether treatment is a better option.
BPH can be treated medically or surgically in some cases.
What Are The Symptoms Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- urinary frequencyurination eight or more times a day
- urinary urgencythe inability to delay urination
- trouble starting a urine stream
- a weak or an interrupted urine stream
- dribbling at the end of urination
- nocturiafrequent urination during periods of sleep
- urinary incontinencethe accidental loss of urine
- pain after ejaculation or during urination
- urine that has an unusual color or smell
Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia most often come from
- a blocked urethra
- a bladder that is overworked from trying to pass urine through the blockage
The size of the prostate does not always determine the severity of the blockage or symptoms. Some men with greatly enlarged prostates have little blockage and few symptoms, while other men who have minimally enlarged prostates have greater blockage and more symptoms. Less than half of all men with benign prostatic hyperplasia have lower urinary tract symptoms.3
Prostate Cancer Diagnoses And Treatment
All cancer is complex, but prostate cancer testing and treatment is particularly complicated.
In some men with prostate cancer, the cancer will grow very slowly, and wont significantly affect them during their lifetime. Other mens prostate cancer can grow and spread very quickly. At the moment, there is no test that can tell what type of prostate cancer a man has when he is diagnosed.
Because some treatments for prostate cancer can cause side effects which might impact on quality of life, its important for men to discuss with their doctor all their options for testing and treatment, and to discuss these with their partners and families. These might include watchful waiting, which means waiting to see what the cancer does over time, radiation, surgery or taking medications.
You can read more about what kinds of questions to ask your doctors about prostate cancer testing and treatment on the Cancer Council website.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate .
Even if the symptoms are mild, they could be caused by a condition that needs to be investigated.
Any blood in your urine must be investigated by a GP to rule out other more serious conditions.
Page last reviewed: 10 February 2020 Next review due: 10 February 2023
Frequent Urination Especially At Night
You might also feel the need to pee more often. This can happen because your urine stream stops before your bladder has emptied, so you quickly feel the need to go again.
Youre never really getting all the pee out, Dr. Linehan explains, because the enlarged prostate can block the urinary channel. Since your bladder isnt empty, you wont get the sensation of having just voided it. And you may start to get up at night to go, Linehan adds. Usually if thats happening, the prostate has some type of involvement.
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What Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. It grows larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.
Sometimes a doctor may find a problem during a routine checkup or by doing a rectal exam. If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, see your doctor right away.
Should I Be Concerned About An Enlarged Prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is what is known as an enlarged prostate. It may sound scary, but should you be concerned about an enlarged prostate? This depends on your age, whether you are symptomatic, and how severe those symptoms are. Heres a bit more detail!
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary problems in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasnt emptied properly
- difficulty starting to urinate
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a sudden urge to urinate you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.
You may not get all of these symptoms, and some men with an enlarged prostate dont get any symptoms at all. These symptoms can also be caused by other things, such as cold weather, anxiety, other health problems, lifestyle factors, and some medicines. Blood in your urine may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate. But this is rare and is usually caused by something else.
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP to find out what may be causing them.
What Is Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged prostate refers to the state in which the prostate is enlarged but not cancerous.
Hormonal changes and cell growth resulting from the aging process may cause the prostate to swell, often impinging upon and compressing the urethra. This causes the bladder walls to become thicker and can prevent the bladder from emptying completely.
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How Might An Enlarged Prostate Affect My Life
Having an enlarged prostate affects men in different ways. Some men can manage mild symptoms and dont need treatment. Other men find they need to stay near a toilet. This can make it difficult to work, drive, be outdoors and attend social events. If you need the toilet a lot during the night, this can affect your sleep and make you feel more tired during the day.
Some men with an enlarged prostate find their symptoms improve over time without treatment. But for most, the symptoms will stay the same or slowly start to cause more problems over time unless they have treatment.
What Exams Tests And Procedures Diagnose Bph
A physical exam is required to see if other medical problems may be causing your BPH symptoms. The healthcare provider will order a digital rectal exam to examine the prostate gland. The healthcare provider may feel the prostate by inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. The rectal exam allows your doctor to roughly estimate the size and consistency of the prostate. Most importantly, it allows the doctor to feel for lumps or hard areas that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Your doctor may check your urine for blood or signs of infection. Your blood may be tested for kidney problems , for PSA levels , a screening test for enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, prostatitis, and urinary tract infections
Some men are referred to a specialist for further tests. Urologists specialize in diseases of the male and female urinary tracts and of the male genital tract. Before you are treated for BPH. It is important for the doctor to rule out other possible causes of an enlarged prostate, such as prostate cancer, which is benign or non-cancerous.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Problems
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs
See your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Treatment for An Enlarged Prostate
Avoiding the symptoms of an enlarged prostate can cause further complications later on. Untreated BPH can cause urinary tract infections, incontinence, urinary retention , and kidney stones. Treatment options for an enlarged prostate include medications and surgery. After your consultation, your urologist can make a diagnosis and give you treatment options, based on these factors:
- How your symptoms interfere with your everyday life
- The size of your prostate
- Overall health
- Other medical conditions
To learn more about how to treat your enlarged prostate call Charlotte Mens Health at 786-5131 to request an appointment, or request one online.
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How Do You Find It
Youll need to head south along the back road to find it in a magical place called the anal region.
Although entering through the anus is the most direct way, you can also stimulate the prostate indirectly through the perineum, or taint.
This is the skin that runs underneath the scrotum to the anus.
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Myth: Youll Insult Your Doctor If You Get A Second Opinion
Fact: Seeking a second opinion isnt bad manners its good sense. Even doctors themselves ask for help and input from their colleagues. Thereâs nothing wrong with talking to several doctors to get to that comfort zone that you deserve before undertaking a significant procedure, Sartor says.
You should feel free to ask for second opinions about everything from your diagnosis to your treatment options. Dont sacrifice your own well-being for fear of hurting your doctors feelings.
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Touching Your Prostate With Your Finger
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What Is Bph And How Does It Affect Me
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As a man ages, the prostate gets larger and begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing uncomfortable symptoms. It may be responsible for blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder, and can cause issues in the bladder, urinary tract, or kidneys.
When Is Bph Treatment Necessary
The course of BPH in any individual is not predictable. Symptoms, as well as objective measurements of urethral obstruction, can remain stable for many years and may even improve over time for as many as one-third of men, according to some studies. In a study from the Mayo Clinic, urinary symptoms did not worsen over a 3.5-year period in 73% of men with mild BPH. A progressive decrease in the size and force of the urinary stream and the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying are the symptoms most correlated with the eventual need for treatment. Although nocturia is one of the most annoying BPH symptoms, it does not predict the need for future intervention.
If worsening urethral obstruction is left untreated, possible complications are a thickened, irritable bladder with reduced capacity for urine infected residual urine or bladder stones and a backup of pressure that damages the kidneys.
- Inadequate bladder emptying resulting in damage to the kidneys
- Complete inability to urinate after acute urinary retention
- Incontinence due to overfilling or increased sensitivity of the bladder
- Bladder stones
- Recurrent severe hematuria
- Symptoms that trouble the patient enough to diminish his quality of life
Find a Location
Currently, the main options to address BPH are:
- Watchful waiting
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What Is A Prostate Infection
A prostate infection occurs when your prostate and the surrounding area become inflamed. The prostate is about the size of a walnut. Its located between the bladder and the base of the penis. The tube that moves urine from the bladder to the penis runs through the center of your prostate. The urethra also moves semen from the sex glands to the penis.
Several types of infections can affect the prostate. Some men with prostatitis experience no symptoms at all, while others report many, including intense pain.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Less urine than usual
- Back, side, or abdominal pain
- Blood or pus in your urine
Also call if:
- Your bladder does not feel completely empty after you urinate.
- You take medicines that may cause urinary problems, such as diuretics, antihistamines, antidepressants, or sedatives. DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider.
- You have tried self-care steps for 2 months and symptoms have not improved.
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Bill Turnbull Urges Men To Press Your Gp On Prostate Cancer
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Prostate cancer has few symptoms, meaning for many men they wont realise there is an issue until the cancer begins to spread. In order to avoid this, heres how to assess your risk for prostate cancer, and when to speak to your doctor.