How Can I Prevent A Prostate Problem
Researchers have not found ways to prevent prostate problems. Men with a greater chance of developing a prostate problem should talk with their doctor about any lower urinary tract symptoms and the need for regular prostate exams. Recognizing lower urinary tract symptoms and knowing whether you have a prostate problem can help you get early treatment and reduce the effects of prostate problems.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasiaalso called BPHis a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retentionthe inability to empty the bladder completelycause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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Does Surgery On The Prostate Gland Interfere With Sexual Function
Surgery for an enlarged prostate does not usually interfere with a man’s sexual functioning. However, about 10 to 15 percent of men may have trouble getting erections after surgery. Men may have a problem called retrograde ejaculation, which causes semen to go backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra to the outside. This means no longer being able to father children but causes no other harm.
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
Prostate cancer can slowly grow and never cause symptoms or threaten a man’s health. Or, it can aggressively attack and require treatment.
How prostate cancer is treated depends on the tumor’s location, whether the cancer has spread, the man’s age and his overall health. Treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting and symptom monitoring
- Surgical removal of the prostate gland
- High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Testosterone-blocking hormone therapy
Side effects of prostate cancer treatment can include erectile dysfunction and bladder control issues, so men should talk to their doctors before making a treatment decision.
- Learn more about Houston Methodist’s Men’s Health Center, which provides comprehensive, confidential and quality care just for men.
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How Can I Prevent Prostate Problems
In some ways, prostate problems, particularly BPH, are a natural part of growing older. Still, there are specific steps you can take to keep your prostate healthy.
- A diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of developing BPH. Research is ongoing to identify who might benefit from early treatment to prevent BPH.
- According to the American Cancer Society, most cases of prostate cancer can’t be prevented. This is because prostate cancer’s causes are still unknown. As with BPH, however, experts recommend eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- No herbal supplements have been proven to prevent prostate cancer. Studies of selenium, a mineral, have had mixed results, but the majority of the evidence shows no real benefit. Trials for drugs to prevent prostate cancer are also ongoing.
- No activity or drug is known to prevent prostatitis. Experts recommend good hygiene, including keeping the penis clean. Most men will never develop prostatitis.
What Is Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is common among American men. Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be affected by your:
- Age. Men age 50 and older run a greater risk.
- Race. Prostate cancer is most common among African-American men.
- Family history. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, you are more likely to have it, too.
- Diet. Eating high-fat food with few fruits and vegetables may raise your risk.
Tests Used To Check The Prostate
This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the “story” of your prostate concerns. You’ll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.
Recurrent Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer that returns after treatment is considered recurrent. When it returns to the area around the prostate, the disease is classified as a local recurrence. If the cancer is found in another part of the body, the recurrent cancer is considered metastatic. If the cancer metastasizes outside the prostate, it most likely develops in bones first. Metastatic prostate cancer most often spreads to the liver, bones and lungs.
After initial treatment for prostate cancer, PSA levels are expected to drop dramatically. The first sign of recurrent prostate cancer may be a rise in the PSA level. Other symptoms of recurrent cancer may depend on whether and where the cancer has spread. Symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty breathing
Patients should discuss any symptoms with their doctor and ask about scheduling regular PSA tests after treatment.
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What Other Problems Might An Enlarged Prostate Cause
A small number of men may find it difficult to empty their bladder properly this is called urine retention. If youve been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, your doctor will look at your test results to see if youre at risk of urine retention. You may be more likely to get urine retention if:
- youre aged 70 or over
- your prostate is very large
- you have a raised prostate specific antigen level
- you have severe urinary symptoms and a very slow flow.
Chronic urine retention
This is where you cant empty your bladder fully, but can still urinate a little. It usually develops slowly over time. Chronic means long-lasting. The first signs often include a weak flow when you urinate, or leaking urine at night. You may feel that your abdomen is swollen, or that youre not emptying your bladder fully.
Chronic urine retention is usually painless. But the pressure of the urine can slowly stretch your bladder muscle and make it weaker. This can cause urine to be left behind in the bladder when you urinate. If you dont empty your bladder fully, you might get a urine infection, need to urinate more often, leak urine at night, or get painful bladder stones. You might also see some blood in your urine. Chronic urine retention can damage your bladder and kidneys if it isnt treated.
There are treatments for chronic urine retention, including:
- passing a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to drain urine from your bladder
- surgery to widen the urethra.
Acute urine retention
Not Sure What To Do Next
If you are still concerned about your prostate problems, why not use healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
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What Causes An Enlarged Prostate
We still dont really know all the things that cause the prostate to grow. But we do know about two risk factors that can increase your risk of having an enlarged prostate.
Your risk of having an enlarged prostate increases as you get older. Many men aged 50 or over have an enlarged prostate, but they dont all get symptoms. And some men have symptoms that don’t bother them.
The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow.
Some studies show that obese men and men who have diabetes may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. Regular exercise may help to reduce your risk of urinary symptoms. But we still need more studies into the causes of enlarged prostate to know for certain if, and how, we can prevent it.
There is also some research that suggests you may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate if your father or brother has one. Again, further studies are needed to confirm this.
How Is A Prostate Problem Diagnosed
A prostate problem is most often diagnosed because of the symptoms that it causes. Your doctor will also do a physical examination called a digital rectal exam, or DRE. Other tests can be done to measure the urine flow, which can help the doctor decide how much the prostate is blocking the urine stream.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer
Researchers do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer. But they have found some risk factors and are trying to learn just how these factors might cause prostate cells to become cancer cells.
On a basic level, prostate cancer is caused by changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. DNA is the chemical in our cells that makes up our genes, which control how our cells function. We usually look like our parents because they are the source of our DNA. But DNA affects more than just how we look.
Some genes control when our cells grow, divide into new cells, and die:
- Certain genes that help cells grow, divide, and stay alive are called oncogenes.
- Genes that normally keep cell growth under control, repair mistakes in DNA, or cause cells to die at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes.
Cancer can be caused by DNA mutations that keep oncogenes turned on, or that turn off tumor suppressor genes. These types of gene changes can lead to cells growing out of control.
DNA changes can either be inherited from a parent or can be acquired during a persons lifetime.
Is It Easy To Orgasm This Way
Lets say it may take some practice and patience.
Actual clinical research on prostate-induced orgasms is seriously lacking, so we dont know how common it is or if its possible for everyone with a prostate to have this type of orgasm.
Every body is different, so some experimenting to see what feels good is in order. If you do manage to have one, reproducing it will be easy.
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Inflammation Of The Prostate Gland
Bacteria sometimes cause prostatitis . More commonly, the underlying cause is uncertain. Consult your doctor promptly if you experience:
- pain in the groin
- urgent and frequent urination.
Treatment with antibiotics is essential for acute bacterial prostatitis. Admission to hospital is often necessary and, as with chronic bacterial prostatitis, specific antibacterial drugs are required for a long time.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary problems in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasnt emptied properly
- difficulty starting to urinate
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a sudden urge to urinate you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.
You may not get all of these symptoms, and some men with an enlarged prostate dont get any symptoms at all. These symptoms can also be caused by other things, such as cold weather, anxiety, other health problems, lifestyle factors, and some medicines. Blood in your urine may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate. But this is rare and is usually caused by something else.
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP to find out what may be causing them.
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Tips For Relieving Bph Symptoms
Four simple steps can help relieve some of the symptoms of BPH:
For more on advances in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate diseases, read the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases from Harvard Medical School.
Personal And Family Medical History
Taking a personal and family medical history is one of the first things a health care provider may do to help diagnose benign prostatic hyperplasia. A health care provider may ask a man
- what symptoms are present
- when the symptoms began and how often they occur
- whether he has a history of recurrent UTIs
- what medications he takes, both prescription and over the counter
- how much liquid he typically drinks each day
- whether he consumes caffeine and alcohol
- about his general medical history, including any significant illnesses or surgeries
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How Do You Find It
Youll need to head south along the back road to find it in a magical place called the anal region.
Although entering through the anus is the most direct way, you can also stimulate the prostate indirectly through the perineum, or taint.
This is the skin that runs underneath the scrotum to the anus.
What Are Common Prostate Problems What Are The Symptoms And Signs
Here are some examples of non-cancer prostate problems:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, means your prostate is enlarged, but is not cancerous. It is very common in older men. An enlarged prostate may make it very difficult to urinate or cause dribbling after you urinate. You may feel the need to urinate a lot, often at night. See your family doctor for an exam. Treatments for BPH include:
- Watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. If your symptoms are not too bad, your doctor may tell you to wait before starting any treatment to see if the problem gets worse. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to return for checkups. You can start treatment later if your symptoms worsen.
- Medications. There are medicines that can help shrink the prostate or help relax muscles near your prostate to ease your symptoms. Talk with your doctor about possible side effects.
- Surgery. If nothing else has worked, your doctor may suggest surgery to help urine flow. There are many types of BPH surgery. Talk with your doctor about the risks. Regular checkups are important after surgery.
- Other treatments. 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.
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Cause Of Urinary Problems As Men Age
Many men experience urinary symptoms as they age, which may be caused by inflammation of the prostate gland . In older men, symptoms may be due to a blockage in the tubes due to a benign enlargement of the prostate gland . The most common symptom is difficulty emptying your bladder. Urinary symptoms may become bothersome enough that they require treatment. Not all urinary symptoms are due to changes to the prostate. Also, some men have enlarged prostates and yet experience few, if any, symptoms.
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- The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ that produces fluids to feed and protect sperm cells.
- Many men experience urinary changes as they age. In many cases, these changes do not need specific treatment.
- When urinary changes cause problems, they can be treated successfully by lifestyle changes, medication, surgery or a combination of the three.
- For problems such as blood in the urine, pain on urination, inability to urinate or uncontrollable urine flow, see your doctor promptly.
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Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
How Common Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50. In 2010, as many as 14 million men in the United States had lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia.1 Although benign prostatic hyperplasia rarely causes symptoms before age 40, the occurrence and symptoms increase with age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.2
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What To Expect During The Digital Rectal Exam
Your doctor may examine you either standing or lying down.
- If standing, you will be asked to stand facing the examination bed, with feet apart, body bent forward and your arms or elbows on the bed. Feel free to ask your doctor to give you a heads up before making any sudden movements.
- Wearing surgical gloves, the doctor will coat a finger in lubricant.
- The finger will be inserted into your rectum in a downwards angle. You may feel a little pressure or slight discomfort, but it shouldn’t hurt. It is important to relax and take deep breaths and let the doctor know immediately if there is pain.
- Your doctor may have to wait a few seconds for your external sphincter muscle to relax, and may ask you to bear down as if you are having a bowel movement.
- The doctor moves the finger in a circular motion in order to identify the lobes and groove of the prostate gland. The doctor checks for:Lumps on or around the prostate
- Hard spots or bumps
- Abnormalities on the prostate
- A normal prostate is usually around 2-4 cm long and has a triangular shape, with a firm and rubbery texture