What Should I Do If I Think I May Have Prostate Problems
Regardless of which problem you may think you have, you should see your primary care doctor. To make the diagnosis your doctor will take a complete history, physical exam that includes a digital rectal exam, and other appropriate diagnostic tests, for example, a urinalysis, urine culture, blood tests such as the PSA test, electrolytes, creatinine, and occasionally blood urea nitrogen levels. Your doctor may order other tests, for example, an ultrasound, endoscopy, urine flow rate studies, and biopsy of the prostate gland. Your doctor also may refer you to a specialist called a urologist, especially if you require surgery as part of your treatment.
Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs
Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.
For instance, research from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial study in 2013 showed that taking the 5-ARI finasteride for seven years could lower the chance of getting low-grade prostate cancer by 25% among men ages 55 and older. A follow-up study of almost 9,500 men, published in the Nov. 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also showed that finasteride lowered the risk by a similar amount , and found the protective effect lasted for at least 16 years.
Eating Diet And Nutrition
Researchers have not found that eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in causing or preventing prostatitis. During treatment of bacterial prostatitis, urologists may recommend increasing intake of liquids and avoiding or reducing intake of substances that irritate the bladder. Men should talk with a health care provider or dietitian about what diet is right for them.
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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.
How Are Bacterial Forms Of Prostatitis Managed Or Treated
Antibiotics can kill bacteria that cause bacterial types of prostatitis. Men with acute bacterial prostatitis may need 14 to 30 days of antibiotics, starting with IV antibiotics in the hospital. Rarely, men need surgery to drain an abscess on the prostate.
Treating chronic bacterial prostatitis is challenging. You may need up to three months of antibiotics to sterilize the prostate. If the prostate cant be sterilized, low-dose antibiotics can be used long term to prevent recurrences. Some men need surgery to remove prostate stones or scar tissue in the urethra. Rarely, surgeons remove part or all of the prostate gland .
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It May Be Able To Help Treat Prostatitis
Prostatitis is a common inflammation of the prostate gland, which can be caused by a bacterial infection.
“Symptoms include everything from burning from urination to pain with ejaculation, lousy urine stream, and discomfort in perineum behind the scrotum and in front of the rectum,” says Danny Keiller, MD, who specializes in urology at Genesis Healthcare Partners in San Diego and is an advisor to the non-profit organization the Men’s Health Network .
While the primary course of treatment for prostatitis is antibiotics, Keiller says that some doctors have been using prostate massage as a treatment method with positive results, though there are no scientific studies to support this.
Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that can raise your chance of developing a disease. Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will get prostate cancer. It just means that your risk of the disease is greater.
- Age. Men who are 50 or older have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Race. African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancerâthe disease tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in men of other races. After African-American men, prostate cancer is most common among white men, followed by Hispanic and Native American men. Asian-American men have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.
- Family history. Men whose fathers or brothers have had prostate cancer have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of prostate cancer than men who do not have a family history of the disease. A man who has 3 immediate family members with prostate cancer has about 10 times the risk of a man who does not have a family history of prostate cancer. The younger a man’s relatives are when they have prostate cancer, the greater his risk for developing the disease. Prostate cancer risk also appears to be slightly higher for men from families with a history of breast cancer.
- Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.
Diagnosis Of Enlarged Prostate Gland And Urinary Problems
If you are troubled by urination problems, see a doctor no matter what your age. If your doctor agrees that your symptoms need further evaluation and treatment, you may need to undergo a few tests.These may include:
- general examination medical history and review of any health conditions including obesity, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, depression and erectile dysfunction. A rectal examination may be done to check the size and shape of your prostate gland
- a urine check to ensure the prostate is not infected
- a flow-rate check to estimate the speed with which you pass urine
- an ultrasound examination to assess if the bladder is emptying completely and to examine your kidneys
- urodynamics a series of tests on the bladder to see how your urinary system is functioning may be recommended in some circumstances.
Using Medication To Reduce Symptoms
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How Is Prostatitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will review your past health and sexual history. He or she will also do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- Urine culture. This test collects prostatic fluid and urine. They are checked for white blood cells and bacteria.
- Digital rectal exam . In this test, the healthcare provider puts a gloved finger into the rectum to check the part of the prostate next to the rectum. This is done to look for swelling or tenderness.
- Prostate massage. The healthcare provider massages your prostate gland to drain fluid into the urethra. This fluid is then checked under a microscope to look for inflammation or infection. This test is usually done during a digital rectal exam .
- Semen culture. A semen sample is tested in the lab for bacteria and white blood cells.
- Cystoscopy. A thin, flexible tube and viewing device is put into the penis and through the urethra. Your healthcare provider uses the device to look at your bladder and urinary tract for structure changes or blockages.
- Transrectal ultrasound. A thin transducer is inserted into the rectum next to the prostate to show images of the prostate.
- CT scan. This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
Prostate Problems Symptoms And Warning Signs
It’s common for men over the age of 50 to have prostate problems. The prostate gland produces semen. Common conditions that affect the gland are enlarged prostate , acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic non-bacterial prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have problems urinating or pain with urination.
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Bladder And Urinary Troubles
A prostate tumor that has grown significantly in size may start to press on your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the passage the carries urine from your bladder out of your body. If the tumor is pressing on your urethra, you might have trouble passing urine.
One of the common areas for prostate cancer to spread to is the bladder, because the two organs are close. This can cause additional problems with urination and bladder function.
Some symptoms your bladder and urethra are being affected by cancer include:
- urinating more frequently
- getting up in the middle of the night to pee
- having blood in your urine or semen
- feeling like you have to urinate often and not actually passing anything
Its not as common, but prostate cancer can also spread to your bowel. The cancer first spreads to the rectum, which is the part of your bowel closest to the prostate gland.
Symptoms of cancer thats spread to the bowels include:
- stomach pain
How Do You Give A Prostate Massage With Your Fingers
If, after talking through a few specifics, youre still not sure where to start, Brown-James has some techniques. Bring your pointer, middle, and ring fingers together, then push up into , Brown-James explains. Stimulating this area with gentle but firm strokes also stimulates the prostate. It’s basically a playground down thereBrown-James recommends techniques like rubbing clockwise for 810 strokes, then going counterclockwise, stroking toward the scrotum or touching the penis while you massage your partners perineum. Even though youve hopefully discussed what youd both like beforehand, you and your partner should talk about what you think you might each like to do and feel and then, if you agree to test things out, try that next, making sure youre each being open about what feels good and what doesnt feel so good in the moment.
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The Top 7 Signs Of Advanced Prostate Cancer
In the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms related to prostate cancer. This is why screenings are important. Symptoms can sometimes be noticed for the first time when the cancer advances.
Advanced prostate cancer, also called metastatic cancer, means the cancer has spread to other areas of your body beyond your prostate gland. The most common areas for prostate cancer to spread are your bladder, rectum, and bones. It can also spread to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other body tissues.
Whether youve just been diagnosed or youre in treatment, its also important to know the signs of advanced cancer. Cancer can behave differently depending on your genetics, so not every person will experience the same symptoms in the same way.
Read on to learn more about the seven top symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and how to spot them.
Medications For Enlarged Prostate
There are two main classes of pharmaceuticals that work to alleviate enlarged prostate symptoms: alpha blockers and alpha reductase inhibitors
Alpha Blockers. Alpha blockers relax the smooth muscle around the bladder neck and within the urethra.
Inhibitors. Inhibitors stop the conversion of the male hormone testosterone to DHT to reduce the prostate’s size, eliminating blockage.
Dont be surprised if your physician prescribes a combination of the two medications, as they have been shown to work more effectively together than alone. The downside is that combination therapy may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects from the medications. Be sure to work with your doctor to assess the benefits and costs before starting on combination therapy.
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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.
What Is Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged prostate refers to the state in which the prostate is enlarged but not cancerous.
Hormonal changes and cell growth resulting from the aging process may cause the prostate to swell, often impinging upon and compressing the urethra. This causes the bladder walls to become thicker and can prevent the bladder from emptying completely.
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At the start, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may have trouble urinating. Some men need to urinate often, especially at night. Others have pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis, and painful ejaculation.
To find out if these symptoms are caused by prostate cancer, your doctor will ask about your past medical problems and your family’s medical history. He or she will perform a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will put a gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate for hard or lumpy areas.
Your doctor may also do a blood test to check the prostate-specific antigen level. PSA levels can be high in men with an enlarged prostate gland or with prostate cancer. You may also need an ultrasound exam that takes computer pictures of the prostate.
If tests show that you might have cancer, your doctor will want to confirm this with a biopsy. He or she will take out tiny pieces of the prostate to look for cancer cells. Your doctor may want to do a biopsy again to re-check the results.
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether cancer is in part or all of the prostate or if it has spread to other parts of the body. It also depends on your age and overall health. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment choice for you. You may want to ask another doctor for a second opinion.
How Do I Know If My Prostate Is Enlarged
If your prostate is enlarged, it may not be a sign of cancer, but it is something that you should discuss with your doctor. Many of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate tend to relate to urination. If you are concerned about an enlarged prostate, here are 7 symptoms to look for:
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