Men of all ages are at risk of facing prostate problems. Such issues can be anything from mild (e.g. inflammation) to severe (e.g. prostate cancer). Because the prostate gland naturally gets larger with age, it’s also the reason why older men are more prone to various prostate issues.
Common Prostate Problems
Are you aware of your odds of developing prostate-related health problems? Do you know how you can keep your prostate healthy?
Listed below are some of the most common prostate problems, together with their risk factors:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
This term refers to an enlarged prostate. BPH happens when the prostate grows beyond its normal size. The older you get, the higher your chances are of getting BPH. Here are the numbers that you should take note of:
- 31 to 40 years old: 1 out of 12 chance
- 51 to 60 years old: 1 out of 2 chance
- Over 80: More than 8 out of 10 chance
Prostatitis is the inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. Sometimes, however, it may be mistaken for the flu because it displays flu-like symptoms. Prostatitis usually goes away on it own, but if you acquired it from a bacterial infection, your doctor will probably give you an antibiotic prescription.
Prostate cancer usually displays the same symptoms as less serious prostate problems, or it may not have any symptoms at all. Fortunately, screenings now make it easier to detect prostate cancer before it’s too late.
If you’re thinking of whether your risk for prostate cancer is high, here are the risk factors that you should remember:
- Age: Older men are more prone to having prostate cancer.
- Race: African-American men face a higher risk for prostate cancer compared to other races (e.g. Caucasians, Asians, etc.).
- Family History: If any of your family members has had prostate cancer or breast cancer, you should consider getting screened.
- Obesity: Prostate cancer in obese men tends to be more advanced and harder to treat.
Prostate cancer has a very high survival rate, and your chances of making it significantly increases when you manage to get treatment early.
What Signs Should You Look For?
The prostate is one of the key components of the male reproductive system. It is a walnut-sized gland that is located below the urinary bladder, and its main responsibility is to create seminal fluid. It is wrapped around the urethra, which is a hollow tube that transports urine or semen out of the body.
The size of the prostate naturally gets bigger with age. Fortunately, this doesn’t cause any serious problems in most cases. However, an enlarged prostate can sometimes constrict the urethra, which typically leads to BPH. Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination, especially during nighttime
- Difficulty urinating
- Unsatisfactory urination (i.e. feeling like you’re unable to get everything out)
Prostatitis is a bacterial infection that can be considered as a kind of urinary tract infection (UTI) in men. While it is rarely a serious condition, you should still go to your doctor as soon as you experience any of these symptoms:
- Painful urination and ejaculation
- Chills and fevers
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine or semen
- Pain or stiffness in the following areas: hips, lower back, pelvis, rectal area, upper thighs
Prostate cancer is usually detected through regular lab screenings, particularly prostate specific antigen (PSA). There are times when prostate cancer also causes urination difficulties like BPH. However, this symptom typically means that the cancer is already at an advanced stage.
Other advanced stage prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Bloody semen
- Bone pain
- Pelvic discomfort
- Erectile dysfunction
Preventing Prostate Problems
Although some prostate problems are inevitable, there are things that you can do to ensure that your prostate stays healthy. These are:
- Healthy Diet: Consider eating lots of fruits and vegetables while minimizing saturated fats. This helps lower the risks for BPH.
- Vitamins and Supplements: These can help you meet your daily nutrient requirements. A prostate supplement like Prostagenix can even boost your prostate health.
- Good Hygiene: Cleanliness and proper hygiene keep bad bacteria away. By simply maintaining good hygiene, you lower your risks of getting prostatitis.
- Regular Screening: Since most cancers cannot be prevented, regular screening is the key to prevent it from progressing or spreading to other parts of the body.
Prostate health is important, especially if you want to enjoy your life in old age. If you notice any of the symptoms above, visit your doctor right away so the problem can be rightfully diagnosed.
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