Prostate disease: what you should know?

The prostate gland (the prostate) is an organ of the male reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut and is found at the base of the bladder. The average weight of prostate is 20 grams. After the age of forty, there is reawakening of growth spurts in prostate glands leading to its enlargement.

Does aging is linked with prostate disease?

Around 25 per cent of men aged 50 years and over have urinary symptoms because of prostate enlargement. This increases to 60 per cent by the age of 70 years and by 90 years, 80% of men have symptoms because of prostate disease.

What is benign enlargement of the prostate (BPH)?

This is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate and is more common as men get older. It is not life threatening, but can significantly affect the quality of life.

What are the symptoms of enlargement prostate?

Obstructions usually causes obstructive and storage or irritative symptoms. The common obstructive symptoms are taking more time to start the urination, intermittent urine flow, poor flow, dribbling of urine during or after urination and feeling of incomplete evacuation.

Because of significant obstruction, patient may develop storage or irritative symptoms like frequent urination, nocturia causing sleep disturbance, difficulty in urine control and urine leak (urgency).

Who are at risk to develop prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is second most common cancer in men and typically affects men over the age of 50 years.The causes remain unknown, although advancing age and family history are known to be contributing factors.

How the diagnosis of prostate disease is made?

Prostate disease is diagnosed using a variety of tests, including:

  • Physical examination, including digital rectal examination. A hard prostate may raise suspicion of prostate cancer
  • Mid-stream urine tests to look for infection or blood in the urine
  • Ultrasound scans and urinary flow studies
  • Blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA test) commonly done to screen for cancer prostate
  • What is the treatment for prostate disease?

    Treatment for prostatitis may include antibacterial drugs and supportive treatments, dependingon the type of prostatitis.

    Treatment for BPH may include medications to relax the smooth muscle of the gland or to shrink the size of the prostate. Usually most of these patients get benefit with medical treatment only. Only around 10% of patients, who develop either complications or no relief in symptoms need surgery.

    Surgery commonly done endoscopically like TURP or laser prostatectomy. Here obstructing prostate lobe is removed to produce a permanently widened channel in the part of the urethrathat passes through the prostate.