The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland located below the bladder in front of the rectum. It is a vital part of the male reproductive system, it is responsible for the production of semen. It also wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. As men age, the prostate can undergo changes which can lead to common issues in men that can affect urination and sexual function in men.
Common Issues that Affect the Prostate
There are three (3) major issues that affect men’s prostate they are; Prostatitis, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and Prostate Cancer.
Prostatitis; refers to inflammation of the prostate gland, it is common in men under the age of 50. There are two types of prostatitis, they include Acute and Chronic prostatitis. Acute prostatitis is caused by bacteria which results in infection, and it can lead to painful urination. Chronic on the other hand is also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, this kind of prostatitis can be challenging to treat, it is not defined, however, symptoms include recurrent pelvic discomfort and pain during urination.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH); is known as the enlargement of the prostate gland, it stems from the overgrowth of cells in the prostate, which leads to the gland pressing against the urethra. This usually occurs after the age of 50, it is considered an expected aging part of the aging process for men. Due to enlargement of the prostate, it can cause problems with urination, if left untreated, benign prostatic hyperplasia can worsen and cause complications like bladder stones.
Prostate Cancer; is the most common form of cancer in men, prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland, it grows over time, some types of prostate may need no treatment, while others are dangerous and grow quickly. According to research, there is no exact cause for prostate cancer, however, it can be linked to family history and race. In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any noticeable symptoms, however, as it progresses, symptoms may include difficulty in urinating, weak urine flow, blood in the urine and semen, pain, and discomfort in the pelvic area.
Symptoms and Causes
There are different symptoms of prostate problems depending on the type of prostrate problem, for example, the symptoms of Acute prostatitis are difficulty in urinating and pain, Chronic prostatitis is characterized by burning and pain during urination inability to empty the bladder, and pain in the pelvis. BPH is characterized by a cluster of symptoms known as lower tract symptoms, which involves a weak urine system, interrupted urine flow, leaking, and urinary retention. Prostate cancer does not show symptoms, symptoms are mostly detected from blood tests that show high PSA levels, however, difficulty in urination or back or bone pain are the major symptoms of prostate cancer especially if the cancer has spread. The cause of prostate problems can be linked to bacterial infection, and age especially for those with BPH, according to research, BPH can be triggered by high sugar consumption and consumption of red meat and refined grains. There is no known exact cause of prostate cancer, though family history, age, and race play a key role.
Treatment options for prostate problems in men range from medications to surgery. In the case of BPH, medications like alpha-blockers (tamsulosin) can help manage symptoms and reduce the size of the prostate. For prostatitis, antibiotics are given to manage and eliminate the infection, pain relievers are also given to soothe any pain and discomfort. Prostate cancer treatment includes radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. The role of this therapy and surgery is to kill any cancer growth and stop its spread.
Prostate health is very important for men, if you notice any discomfort and changes, it is important to seek medical attention for diagnosis and prescription of the appropriate medication to take.