The Prostate Basics

The Prostate Basics


Basic Facts about the Prostate Gland: The prostate is a sex gland in males. It is around the size of a walnut, and encircles the neck of the bladder and urethra, the tube that expels urine from the bladder. It is partly glandular and partly muscular, with ducts opening into the prostatic portion of the urethra. The prostate is made up of three lobes: a centrally located lobe with one lobe on each side. The prostate gland secretes a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, a fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation.

The Prostate Basics

There are several benign prostate problems that develop in men. Types of non-cancerous prostate problems, or clinical conditions of the prostate gland that are not cancer, including infections, inflammations, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – an enlarged prostate These problems are quite common and may happen to men of all ages. Specific Non-Cancerous Prostate Problems include prostatism – this term describes any condition of the prostate that causes interference with the flow of urine from the bladder. Prostatitis – an inflamed condition of the prostate gland. It can be accompanied by pain, discomfort, frequent or infrequent urination, and sometimes a low-grade fever. Prostatalgia – a term that indicates pain in the prostate gland. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)- the condition of an enlarged prostate. BPH is the main non-cancerous prostate problem. It can cause discomfort and create problems urinating. Although it is not cancer, BPH symptoms are very similar to those of prostate cancer. These include impotence, or the inability to have or keep an erection, and urinary incontinence, or the loss of bladder control.

The fear of having prostate cancer can be devastating to most men. Prostate cancer is most successfully treated when discovered early. Consider these statistics supplied from the American Cancer Society: Nearly 80 percent of all prostate cancers is discovered while they are still localized, or confined to the prostate. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors that are discovered at this early stage is a whopping 100 percent. Testing works!

In the past 20 years, the survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer has risen due to early detection and treatment. Early prostate cancer often doesn’t present any symptoms and can only be found with regular prostate examinations by your doctor. These tests can help detect, or rule out, prostate cancer. Check back with your physician if you have had an unusual DRE (digital rectal exam), or if your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level is high. Your physician may order additional tests or suggest repeating the PSA tests if warranted.

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