The prostate gland is a part of the body that few people know much about.
Not surprisingly, lots of people think the prostate has something to do with regulating the flow of urine, because if there is a problem in the prostate, urination can become painful or difficult. The prostate is actually part of the male reproductive system. Most people don’t know what it does and even scientists aren’t sure about all its functions. That’s why we sometimes call it the Secret Sex Gland.
The prostate makes and secretes prostatic fluid, one of the five major fluids that make up semen. Semen is the ‘bodyguard’ for sperm. Sperm make up only about 10% of the semen. The other 90% is, in effect, protection and nourishment for the sperm. The prostatic fluid gives ejaculate its typical milky colour. It makes up about a third of the entire ejaculate volume.
What can go wrong with the prostate?
The prostate is a part of the body that men often do not find out about until something goes wrong with it.
The following conditions can affect the prostate:
Prostatitis can affect men of any age. It is an inflammation of the prostate. It causes pain and difficulty when peeing. Prostatitis can also cause pain in the pelvis, genitals, rectum and on ejaculation. It can also cause fever.
BPH stands for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy two conditions comming in older men. BPH is most likely to effect men over the age of 60. The prostate gland gets slowly bigger, causing difficulty or pain when peeing.
The symptoms can get slowly worse. There are several treatments available.
BPH does not lead to cancer, or increase the risk of cancer developing.
PIN stands for Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia. This is a pre-cancerous condition that affects cells in the prostate.
Prostate cancer is a disease that occurs in men mostly over the age of 50. It can occur in younger men but this is very rare indeed.
Why exactly anyone develops prostate cancer at any time is not known. It is thought that some people have a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer, but there may also be factors which bring it on earlier in life. Although very little is know about how to prevent prostate cancer, we have assembled some information on how you can perhaps reduce your risk.
Caught early on, prostate cancer is a very treatable disease. Unfortunately about half the men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are diagnosed at a late stage when the disease is less treatable. It is therefore important to be aware of your prostate's health after the age of 45. Being aware of the signs that something might be wrong, and going for regular health checks with your GP can help you catch the disease in the bud before it becomes more serious.
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can seem like a death sentance, but for many men the disease progresses very slowly. Indeed many men die with prostate cancer, but not because of it. There is a wide range of treatments available for localised prostate cancer, and most men will be given a choice. We provide you with clear information about the different treatment options available to you, to help you make an informed choice.
For men who have been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, management of the disease is more possible than a cure. Again, there are a number of different treatments available which can control the spread of the cancer or treat painful side effects. Although choice may be limited due to your own circumstances, it is good to know about what is happening to you.
Everyone who is diagnosed with cancer will learn to live with it, whether they are cured, or have the advanced form of the disease. The Prostate Cancer Charity is dedicated to helping you through the difficulties.
How do I check for it?
All prostate problems can make the gland enlarged or become inflamed. This may make urinating more difficult. It can affect your quality of life and also your health.
The kind of symptoms you might have from any prostate problem are:
- A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- A need to rush to the toilet, so that you may even wet yourself at times
- Difficulty starting to pee
- Straining or taking a long time to finish
- A weak flow
- A feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly
- Pain on peeing
- Pain on ejaculating
- Pain in the genitals
Prostate cancer is the most serious prostate problem. Apart from problems urinating, other symptoms may include:
- lower back pain
- difficulty in getting or keeping an erection
- pain in the hips or pelvis
- blood in the urine
Some prostate problems are more serious than others. If you are concerned about your symptoms you should make an appointment to see your GP. They may give you a number of tests in order to make a diagnosis.
We have more information on Prostate Cancer at the Brunswick offices, or you can look online at the UK Prostate Cancer Charity website here :