The prostate is a small organ about the size of a walnut. It lies below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The main function of the prostate is to make a fluid that helps to nourish the sperm as part of the semen.
Prostate problems are common in men above 50 years. The problem can be treated successfully without harming sexual function.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate. It occurs in older men above the age of 50 years.
It is extremely common problem for men above 50 years. Half of all men over 50 years develop this problem, but only 10% need medical or surgical intervention.
What really happens in BPH. What are the signs and symptoms of BPH?
When the prostate gland grows in size, a person suffers from benign prostatic hyperplasia. What really happens is that when the prostate grows in size, it compresses (blocks) the urethra which runs through the center of the prostate. As the urethra is blocked, the urine cannot flow through it and hence the urine flows back to the bladder (urinary retention). When this happens a person gets an urge to urinate frequently during the day and night. Other symptoms include a slow flow of the urine, the need to urinate urgently, and difficulty starting the urine. A serious problem occurs when there is an infection in the urine and a person needs to seek medical attention for that.
Most important thing is that benign prostatic hyperplasia is not cancerous. It is benign.
Tests for Prostate problem
A doctor or a healthcare professional usually inserts a finger from the rectum to detect an enlarged prostate.
The prostate size of an average adult is 15 cc to 30 cc (one-half ounce to one ounce). Men whose prostate is larger than 30 cc are likely to develop BPH or enlarged prostate.
Test for a cancerous prostate
The PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test (blood test) is done to detect cancer in the prostate. Blood samples are collected to see the protein produced by normal as well as malignant cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood.