[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The prostate is a gland in men’s bodies that is essential to the reproductive system. The prostate gland often causes health problems, particularly after men are older than 50 years old, which is why it is important to understand the characteristics and function of the prostate, the potential diseases associated to it, and how to keep improve its health.

Prostate Characteristics

The prostate gland is located below men’s bladder, near the penis and just in front of the rectum. The walnut-sized gland is placed around the urethra, a small tunnel that runs from the bladder to the penis in order to let urine and semen flow out of the body. The prostate is responsible for the production of a fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. The vasa deferentia bring sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles. During ejaculation, the seminal vesicles contribute fluid to semen, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it is then expelled through the urethra.

Throughout a men’s life, the prostate suffers alterations. “Because the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, it may squeeze the urethra and cause problems in passing urine. Sometimes men in their 30s and 40s may begin to have these urinary symptoms and need medical attention. For others, symptoms aren’t noticed until much later in life,” is explained in the booklet “Understanding Prostate Changes – A Health Guide for Men,” published by the National Institute of Cancer.

Prostate Diseases

In addition to age, the prostate may become enlarged due to infection, inflammation or a tumor. The most common prostate diseases include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is diagnosed when the prostate is enlarged, but not cancerous, causing difficulties to urinate or dribbling after urination. Acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome are the three most common types of prostatitis, which may be caused by a bacterial infection or inflammation.

In addition, prostate cancer is a common problem among American men, particularly men age 50 and older, African-American men, men with a history of prostate cancer in the family, and men who eat great amounts of high-fat food, few fruits and vegetables. Therefore, patients should be aware of their prostate health and seek a physician if they experience urinary symptoms like passing urine more during the day, having an urgent need to pass urine, having less urine flow, feeling burning when passing urine, or needing to get up many times during the night to pass urine.

Prostate Health

There are medical problems related to age, while others can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and early detection. Therefore, it is important for patients to be aware of symptoms related to prostate diseases and to visit the physician regularly. Family health care or a urologist will perform a series of medical exams, including digital rectal examination (DRE), during which the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate in order to detect an enlargement, lumps or nodules.

Measuring the levels of the protein created by the prostate, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), in a blood test is used to diagnose prostate cancer, since patients who suffer from it have higher levels of PSA.During a prostate ultrasound (transrectal ultrasound), an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum, bringing it close to the prostate. Both the ultrasound and the prostate biopsy are often performed together to test for prostate cancer. In a prostate biopsy, a needle is inserted into the prostate to remove a tissue sample and analyze it.

Note: BPH News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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