Updated: October 10, 2017
The prostate is a small gland found only in men. It is a part of the male reproductive system and surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). It is situated just below the bladder and the opening of the vas deferens (tube that carries sperm up from the testicles to the urethra).
The prostate gland produces a thick, white fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen. The prostate gland is about the size and shape of a walnut, but tends to get larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause many health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.
There are basically 3 types of prostate gland disorder. These are:
Prostate enlargement is non-cancerous and a very common condition associated with ageing. Mostly men over 50 years of age will have some symptoms of prostate enlargement.
An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra, which can affect how you urinate. Signs and Symptoms of an enlarged prostate can have issue with your usual pattern of urination which includes:
Reducing the amount of tea, coffee and alcohol before bedtime can sometimes help control the symptoms. Few medication can help reduce the size of your prostate and relax the muscles of your bladder.
In severe cases, when it doesn't get cured with medication, the inner part of the prostate can be surgically removed. 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.
Prostatitis is a condition where the prostate gland becomes inflamed or swollen. It is caused by a bacterial infection and usually more common in men between 30 and 50 years of age.
Prostatitis can be of 3 types:
This usually starts suddenly from a bacterial infection. It can cause fever, chills, or pain in pelvis. It might cause pain when you urinate, or you may see blood in your urine.
This is a repeated infection that comes back again and again. Taking antibiotics for a long period of time may work.
This is also known as Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) and is a common prostate problem. It can cause pain in the lower back, in the groin area, or at the tip of the penis. Men with this problem can have painful ejaculation. They may feel the need to urinate frequently, but pass only a small amount of urine.
Treatment for CPPS can be done using a combination of painkillers and a type of medication known as an alpha-blocker, which can help to relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder neck. Medication that shrinks the prostate gland may also be helpful.
This is the most common type of cancer in men, which mainly affects men over 65. The risk of developing prostate cancer is also increased in men who has a family history.
The symptoms of prostate cancer is almost same as those of prostate enlargement .So it can be difficult to distinguish between these two.
At first your past medical problems and your family's medical history will be asked by your doctor. A physical examination will be performed to check your rectum to feel your prostate for hard or lumpy areas.
A blood test will be done to check the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. A high level of PSA will indicate enlarged prostate. An an ultrasound can be done to takes computer images of the prostate.
Confirmation of cancer can be done with a biopsy in which a tiny pieces of the prostate will be taken out to look for cancer cells under a microscope.
Surgery can be done to remove the whole prostate and some nearby tissue. radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. In some cases radiation therapy is used to treat cancer where the radiation is given from an x-ray machine or from tiny radioactive seeds placed inside or near the tumor.
If there is chances that the cancer will come back, after the radiation therapy, treatment will be continued with drugs to stop the body from making testosterone. This is known as hormone therapy.