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What Is The Purpose Of The Prostate Gland

How Do I Keep My Prostate Healthy

What is a prostate gland and what is its function? – Dr. Amrith Rao

Help keep your prostate healthy by:

  • Getting regular prostate screenings. Most people should start screenings at 50. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, its a good idea to start screenings at a younger age.
  • Exercising regularly. People who are more physically active are less likely to have BPH.
  • Eating a healthy diet. Eating the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein may help promote prostate health.
  • Quitting tobacco products. Tobacco products may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Can supplements improve my prostate health?

Dietary supplements dont have to go through clinical trials or get approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration , so there isnt much data on them. Supplements may show minor benefits, but most people wont see an improvement in their prostate health from taking them.

Prostate Specific Antigen Testing

Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein made by the cells in your prostate. Your PSA levels can be measured using a blood test and give an indication of your prostate health.

A PSA test isnt a test for cancer. Higher levels of PSA might indicate prostate cancer, but a high reading could also be caused by other conditions. It is also possible to have low level readings and have prostate cancer. This means that a PSA test isnt enough to definitively diagnose or rule out prostate cancer. Your PSA levels can vary, so your doctor might run this test a few times to compare your results and help determine your risk of prostate cancer.

Understanding Changes In Prostate Function

Many men report needing to get up to urinate more often than they did when they were younger. A lot of the time, an increase in the size of the prostate is the cause of their nocturnal urination or nocturia. As mentioned above, typically the prostate grows after age 40 and can cause an array of lower urinary tract symptoms or LUTS. Some of these will be manageable, while others can affect quality of life quite considerably. Regardless of how normal or expected lower urinary tract symptoms are, all should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Here are some of the most common LUTS which may or may not be related to changes in the prostate.

  • Having an urgent need to pass urine
  • Feeling the need to urinate more often during the day or night
  • Producing less urine than usual during urination
  • Feeling pain or burning sensations when passing urine
  • Difficulty starting to urinate or straining to complete urination
  • Having difficulty emptying your bladder completely
  • Discharge from the urethra
  • Discomfort in the genitals, groin, lower abdomen or lower back

As men age, the risk of prostate problems increases. The most common issues are prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy , and prostate cancer.

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Gene And Protein Expression

About 20,000 protein coding genes are expressed in human cells and almost 75% of these genes are expressed in the normal prostate. About 150 of these genes are more specifically expressed in the prostate, with about 20 genes being highly prostate specific. The corresponding specific proteins are expressed in the glandular and secretory cells of the prostatic gland and have functions that are important for the characteristics of , including prostate-specific proteins, such as the prostate specific antigen , and the Prostatic acid phosphatase.

In the developing embryo, at the hind end lies an inpouching called the cloaca. This, over the fourth to the seventh week, divides into a urogenital sinus and the beginnings of the , with a wall forming between these two inpouchings called the urorectal septum. The urogenital sinus divides into three parts, with the middle part forming the urethra the upper part is largest and becomes the urinary bladder, and the lower part then changes depending on the biological sex of the embryo.

Your Prostate Has Four Areas

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The prostate gland contains four areas, or zones.

The peripheral zone is the largest segment, containing about 75% of the glands in the prostate. Most prostate cancer occurs in the peripheral zone and is the site where most needle biopsies are taken. The peripheral zone contains the majority of the prostatic tissue.

The central zone of the prostate gland is the area that surrounds the ejaculatory ducts. Less than 5% of prostate cancers originate here. However, if prostate cancer does originate here, it is more aggressive and can metastasize to the seminal vesicles.

The transition zone surrounds the urethra in the place where it enters the prostate. This part of the prostate grows in adult men and is responsible for BPH, or the enlarged prostate. Around 20% of cancers originate here.

The fourth zone is the anterior fibromuscular storma.

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What You Need To Know About The Prostate What Is Purpose Of Prostate Gland

A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

How Does The Prostate Work

The prostate is located directly below the bladder and above the muscles of the pelvic floor. The rectum is behind the prostate, making it possible to feel the gland from the rectum using the finger. The ducts in the prostate gland flow into the urethra, which passes through the prostate. The word prostate is taken from the Greek expression meaning one who stands before, which describes the position of the prostate gland. Viewed from below, where the urethra leaves the gland, the prostate stands before the bladder.

The tissue of the prostate gland can be divided into three different zones, listed here from innermost to outermost, which encircle the urethra like layers of an onion:

  • The transition zone is found on the inside of the gland and is the smallest part of the prostate . It surrounds the urethra between the bladder and the upper third of the urethra.
  • The central zone surrounds the transition zone and makes up about one quarter of the prostates total mass. This is where the duct common to the prostate, seminal duct and the seminal vesicles is found. This duct is also known as the ejaculatory duct .
  • The peripheral zone represents the main part of the prostate gland about 70% of the tissue mass is part of the peripheral zone.

The prostate has various functions:

Production of fluid for semen:

Hormone metabolism: In the prostate the male sex hormone testosterone is transformed to a biologically active form, DHT .

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Prostate Disease And Ageing

Around 25 per cent of men aged 55 years and over have a prostate condition. This increases to 50 per cent by the age of 70 years. Early stages of prostate disease may have no symptoms.

If you are a man and you are in your 50s or 60s, talk to your doctor about whether you need to have your prostate gland checked and, if so, how often. If you have a family history of prostate disease , talk to your doctor earlier about when prostate checks might be suitable for you.

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What is the role and function of the prostate gland?

Symptomatic treatment of an enlarged prostate usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the best option if you suffer from chronic urination. It will help the body adjust to the increased size of the prostate. Also, taking regular urination intervals will help retrain the bladder to function properly. Inactivity also contributes to urine retention, and cold temperatures can increase the urge to urinate.

Invasive treatment of enlarged prostate includes medication that relieves the pressure on the urethra and bladder. However, if the condition is severe, it may require surgical intervention. If treatment is not successful, the enlarged prostate can become a potentially life-threatening disease. As the hormone levels in the body change, the enlarged prostate can lead to various complications, including urinary retention and even cancer. This is why it is critical to see a doctor for further evaluation.

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Whats Involved In A Prostate Exam And When Is It Needed

Due to the location of the prostate , it is possible to feel the organ with a finger inserted into the rectum. The tissues of the stroma give the prostate an elastic feel to the touch.

Several prostate health issues may develop as a man ages, in particular prostatitis , enlarged prostate , and prostate cancer.

A prostate exam, also known as a digital rectal exam, is a common procedure to help diagnose these issues.

For the exam, a doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum while youâre standing, bending forward at the waist, or lying on your side with knees pulled up .

The doctor will feel your prostate to determine its size and look for bumps, hard spots, or other abnormalities that may be indicative of prostate cancer.

The prostate exam is not typically painful unless thereâs an abnormality within your prostate.

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The Prostate Gland Is Fueled By Testosterone

The prostate gland is dependent on testosterone for it to function.

Testosterone is produced in a mans testes. Testosterone helps maintain sperm production, sex drive, and many more. Also, researchers have found a connection between high levels of testosterone and prostate cancer. However, it is important to keep the prostate healthy to enjoy pleasant sex life.

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What You Need To Know About The Prostate What Is The Purpose Of Prostate Gland

A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

Does Saw Palmetto Treat Enlarged Prostate

Basic Anatomy Of Prostate Gland

Study Shows Saw Palmetto Is No Better Than Placebo in Treating Symptoms of BPH

Sept. 27, 2011 â For years, men with enlarged prostate glands have turned to a supplement called saw palmetto to ease their trouble with urination and other symptoms.

Exactly how saw palmetto was thought to relieve the symptoms is unclear, but the fruit of saw palmetto dwarf palm tree remains widely used.

Now, a new study shows that this popular remedy is no more effective than a placebo or dummy pill at relieving these symptoms â even in high doses.

The study is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The technical name for an enlarged prostate gland is benign prostatic hyperplasia .

Symptoms of BPH include:

As a result, men run the risk of developing urinary tract infections and/or needing surgery because of a blockage of urine flow.

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Who Might Get An Enlarged Prostate

BPH is common and cannot be prevented. Age and a family history of BPH are two things that increase the chances you might get it. A few stats on that:

  • Some 8 out of every 10 men eventually develop an enlarged prostate.
  • About 90% of men over the age of 85 will have BPH.
  • About 30% of men will find their symptoms bothersome.

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What Are The Common Conditions And Disorders That Affect The Prostate

Common conditions that affect your prostate include:

  • Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer that affects men and people assigned male at birth .
  • Inflammation . Four different prostatitis conditions cause inflammation in your prostate gland: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Its the most common urinary tract issue in men and people AMAB younger than 50, and the third most common in men and people AMAB over 50.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia. BPH causes your prostate to grow, which can cause blockages in your urethra. Almost all men and people AMAB will develop some prostate enlargement as they age.

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Risks Of The Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, certain complications can occur. Somepossible complications of both the retropubic and perineal approaches to RPmay include:

Some risks associated with surgery and anesthesia in general include:

  • Reactions to medications, such as anesthesia

  • Difficulty with breathing

One risk associated with the retropubic approach is the potential forrectal injury, causing fecal incontinence or urgency.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.

How Big Is The Prostate

What Is The Prostate And What Does It Do?

Your prostate is about the size of a walnut.

The prostate usually gets larger after age 40 . It can grow from the size of a walnut to the size of a lemon. Benign prostatic hyperplasia isnt cancerous, and it doesnt increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.

How much does your prostate weigh?

Your prostate weighs about 1 ounce , which is as heavy as five U.S. quarters.

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Growth Of The Prostate

The prostate grows bigger as men age. Typically the prostate undergoes growth during adolescence driven by the male hormone, testosterone, and the hormones byproduct, dihydrotestosterone . Testosterone hormone is primarily produced in the testes, but smaller quantities also can be secreted in the adrenal glands found just above the kidneys. By the age of 40 the prostate might have grown from a walnut-sized to apricot-sized gland. And by the age of 60 it might have reached the size of a lemon.

Physical Exam For Enlarged Prostate

Most men probably dont give their prostate gland a second thought until they are older and their doctor says its time for a physical examination to see if the gland is enlarged. Although the prostate gland is generally the size of a walnut, it can start to grow as men get to their 40s or 50s. The only way a doctor can tell the gland size is by doing a digital exam which involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum and feeling for the gland.

Because of the glands location, if it becomes enlarged, it can press on the urethra, making it difficult for urine to drain from the bladder. It can also make it difficult for a man to maintain an erection. This is called and its the most common of prostate gland conditions.

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Clinical Relevance Prostatic Carcinoma

Prostatic carcinoma represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, especially in countries with high sociodemographic index. The malignant cells commonly originate from the peripheral zone, although carcinomas may arise from the central and transition zones too. It is still debatable that the latter tumors may present with lower malignant potential.

However the proximity of the peripheral zone to the neurovascular bundle that surrounds the prostate may facilitate spread along perineural and lymphatic pathways, thus increasing the metastatic potential of these tumors. Malignant cells may invade adjacent structures and/ or lymphatic and blood vessel routes to give distant metastases. Prostate carcinoma also commonly spreads via the Batson venous plexus to the vertebral bodies and cause skeletal metastases.

A DRE may reveal a hard, irregular prostate gland. In most cases the serum PSA values will be increased. However, due to the peripherally-advancing tumor, symptoms may be minimal, as obstruction occurs usually at late stages. One should also keep in mind that the high incidence of prostate carcinoma is found in elderly men, who may already have symptoms due to BPH.

Fig 4 Prostate cancer has the potential to invade nearby structures.

Urinary symptoms commonly experienced with prostate problems include:

Although these symptoms often do not need treatment, see your doctor if they are causing you difficulty, as they can be successfully treated.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

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Hey guys, we know that talking about your prostate can be a little uncomfortable. You might not know where or what it is, or you might have only heard about it in stories about older men having difficulty peeing or the doctor sticking their finger up you know where to check on it.

Below, weve got all the details about what your prostate is, where it is and what it does. Well also discuss how it might change as you age, and any changes or symptoms you should keep an eye on and tell your doctor about.

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