- The prostate is a gland that is a part of the male reproductive system that wraps around the male urethra near the bladder.
- The gland is about the size of a walnut and grows larger as you age.
- Enlargement of the prostate gland can cause symptoms, for example:
- Dribbling urine
- Pain or buring during urination
- Frequent urination
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or the upper thighs
- Urinary incontinence (the inability to urinate)
- Painful ejaculation
- Common prostate problems in men include:
- To diagnose the cause of the prostate problem, the doctor will do a rectal exam, patient history and take bacterial cultures if infection is suspected and ruling out prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer is common in men over 50, especially in African Americans and in men who eat fatty food and/or have a father or brother with prostate cancer.
- Initiial procedures and tests to diagnose prostate cancer may include:
- A rectal exam
- Assessment of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels
- Prostate cancer is definitively diagnosed by a tissue biopsy.
- Treatments for prostate cancer may include:
- Many, but not all, doctors believe that men under the age of 75 should have yearly PSA tests.
- Identifying prostate problems early is a way to reduce future prostate problems.
Prostate Problem Symptoms
Read more about symptoms of this common prostate problem
- Watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. If your symptoms are not too bad, your doctor may tell you to wait before starting any treatment to see if the problem gets worse. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to return for checkups. You can start treatment later if your symptoms worsen.
- Medications. There are medicines that can help shrink the prostate or help relax muscles near your prostate to ease your symptoms. Talk with your doctor about possible side effects.
- Surgery. If nothing else has worked, your doctor may suggest surgery to help urine flow. There are many types of BPH surgery. Talk with your doctor about the risks. Regular checkups are important after surgery.
- Other treatments. Sometimes radio waves, microwaves, or lasers are used to treat urinary problems caused by BPH. These methods use different kinds of heat to reduce extra prostate tissue.
- Age. Men age 50 and older run a greater risk.
- Race. Prostate cancer is most common among African-American men.
- Family history. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, you are more likely to have it, too.
- Diet. Eating high-fat food with few fruits and vegetables may raise your risk.
blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis, and painful ejaculation.
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- Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance. If the cancer is growing slowly and not causing problems, you may decide not to treat it right away. Instead, your doctor will check regularly for changes in your condition.
- Surgery. The most common type of surgery removes the whole prostate and some nearby tissue. As with any surgery, there are risks. Talk to your doctor about problems that may result from surgery.
- Radiation Therapy. This treatment uses radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation may come from an x-ray machine or from tiny radioactive seeds placed inside or near the tumor. Talk with your doctor about possible side effects.
- Hormone Therapy. Men having other treatments like radiation therapy may also be treated with drugs to stop the body from making testosterone. This is done if it seems likely that the cancer will come back. Hormone therapy can also be used for prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate.
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- Frequent urge to urinate
- Need to get up many times during the night to urinate
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful or burning urination
- Not being able to urinate
- Painful ejaculation
- Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs
- Dribbling of urine