Prostate Gland, Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate | Prostate Meaning and Test
Prostate health, diseases and remedies: All you need to know.
Prostate meaning:- It’s an important part of the male body. It’s roughly the size of a walnut (unless it is in an enlarged condition). And it’s one of those organs that men tend to have the maximum confusion, apprehension and panic around. Yes, we are talking about the prostate gland.
Understanding The Prostate Gland.
Before we can ensure its wellness, or protect it from harm, it is important to understand what prostate is. The prostate is a small gland – approximately the size of a golf ball – that plays an important part in the reproductive process in males. During sexual activity, the prostate gland helps create a nutrient-rich fluid called semen, which carries the sperm that is generated from the testicles at the time of ejaculation. The precarious position of the Prostate gland – it is tucked away just under the bladder, surrounds part of the urethra (which is the tube in the penis through which our urine flows from the bladder) and is located in front of the rectum – makes it susceptible to a range of potential problems. If anything goes wrong anywhere in this complex and closely knit ‘neighbourhood’ of tubes, organs and glands – the prostate gland will almost certainly be affected in some way. A prostate gland that has a ‘disorder’ can lead to problems with urination and sexual activity.
What are the diseases commonly associated with the prostate gland?
There are, broadly, three conditions that one needs to stay alert to, when it comes to the prostate gland. They are enlargement, infection (inflammation) and cancer.
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1. PROSTATE ENLARGEMENT
Who can get an enlarged prostate?
As men age, the prostate gland can become bigger. From the size of a walnut, it can grow to the size of a lemon by the time one is 60. This increase in dimension may be medically referred to as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). It is a normal part of growth, and not inherently cancerous. However, because it wraps around a part of the urethra, a prostate gland that is ‘over-grown’ or enlarged can squeeze it, creating problems during urination.
Being a natural process, BPH cannot be prevented, although family history and age can influence its nature and occurrence to some extent. Research suggests that nearly 8 out of every 10 men will probably, at some point, have an enlarged prostate gland. And approximately 30% of them will have to face uneasiness or problems with the symptoms they experience.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland?
If you are facing any of the issues mentioned below, you may have a prostate gland that’s larger than it probably should be.
Frequent urges to urinate, especially at night
Takes time for the urine flow to begin
Need to exert (‘apply extra pressure’) to get the flow going
Have to start and stop many times
The bladder doesn’t empty entirely after urination
Sudden pangs of urination (without any forewarning or arrival signal)
Incontinence – or the inability to retain or control urine (resulting in it passing involuntarily)
Pain during urination
Pain during ejaculation
Although in rare cases there may be critical repercussions such as bladder or kidney damage, normally, an enlarged prostate by itself does not signify anything serious. However, if you experience early symptoms of BPH, you must seek professional help.
What are the ways to deal with an enlarged prostate gland?
An enlarged prostate gland that doesn’t bring worrying symptoms only requires a comprehensive check-up once a year. This may – depending on the nature of the case and the physician’s advice – comprise various kinds of tests like:- Free PSA, Total PSA, PSMA, and CE MRI Scan for Prostate.
In other cases, medication may be needed. Alpha-blockers and 5-Alpha reductase inhibitors – which can help shrink the size of the prostate gland – are popular treatments.
Making some lifestyle changes can bring about benefits too. Handling stress better, minimizing fluid intake before bedtime, doing pelvic floor exercises, going for bladder exercises regularly, emptying the bladder as much as possible during urination and limiting the daily fluid intake can all help.
Adopting the right diet can go a long way in managing an enlarged prostate as well. One must increase the intake of fruits (especially citrus fruits), fresh vegetables, nuts, berries, onion, garlic and seafood (like salmon) in meals, while reducing the consumption of red meat, dairy products, sodium, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
Finally, if the condition becomes serious, surgery may be the best way out. In all cases, it is best to approach a doctor for advice on the best way forward.
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2. PROSTATE INFLAMMATION
What are the reasons and symptoms of Prostate inflammation?
Infection, or inflammation, is another malady of the prostate gland. It may also be referred to as Prostatitis. While it is not the same as an enlargement (BPH), there are some common symptoms. From late teens right upto old age, one can contact an inflammation of the prostate anytime. If one has had a medical instrument (such as a catheter) inserted in the urethra, there are higher chances of contacting Bacterial Prostatitis. Other ways of getting an infection are sexually transmitted diseases.
Sexual problems (such as difficult or painful ejaculation)
Sensation of pain in the zone that lies between the rectum and the scrotum.
Pain in the lower back area
Fever and ‘cold’
From rectal examination to antigen tests to biopsy, your doctor may prescribe any of various ways to deal with Prostatitis. Needless to say, if the symptoms are familiar to the ones mentioned above, you must seek professional help immediately.
3. PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer: A ‘serial killer’.
Prostate cancer is the 3rd, and final, disorder of the prostate. The fifth most common type of cancer in the world today, prostate cancer tends to occur in men who are above a certain age. This age can start at 45, although over 75% of recorded cases have happened to men who are past 65. According to available data, prostate cancer is the second most frequently occurring cancer in men in the world. Every year, the disease claims over 4 million lives – and this number is growing fast. Prostate cancer is also the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in men, and by 2020, it is expected to experience the highest proportionate rise amongst all cancer cases.
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