Prostate Health and Cancer Screening

Prostate Health and Cancer Screening

The main function of the prostate gland is to secrete fluid for the semen and hence is a part of the male reproductive system. Prostate is present only in men and not in women. It is situated below the urinary bladder and encircles a urine carrying tube called as prostatic urethra. Hence any abnormal enlargement of prostate or abnormal angulation of prostate-bladder neck junction can lead to obstruction to the urine flow.

The most common prostate health related problems are non-cancerous. Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH) or an infection or inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) are the two common non-cancerous conditions which can give bothersome symptoms in men.

Prostate Health and Cancer Screening

How do I know if my prostate is OK?

Some of the common symptoms experienced by men with prostate enlargement are poor urinary flow (slow stream), sensation of incomplete emptying of urine (residual urine), nocturia (excess urination at night), hesitancy (takes longer time to initiate urination), intermittent flow, dribbling of urine, urinary tract infection and rarely urinary blockage (urinary retention) requiring emergency catheter insertion to drain the urine.

What are the basic tests done to check the prostate health?

  • Digital finger examination by the urologist to check the consistency of prostate
  • Blood PSA test and Urine analysis
  • Ultrasound scan to check prostate size and residual urine
  • Uroflowmetry test to check your urine speed

Is enlarged prostate serious ?

Not all enlarged prostates are serious. Treatment of enlarged prostate depends on the symptoms, amount of residual urine, urinary speed and blood/ urine reports. Most enlarged prostates are non-cancerous in nature but men should not hesitate to consult an urologist.

Can prostate issues cause infertility in young men ?

Since the main function of prostate is to secrete fluid to the semen, any recurrent or persistent infections in the prostate can cause infertility issues in young couples planning to conceive. Physical examination, urine analysis, semen analysis and TRUS scan will help the andrologist decide the right treatment for infection of prostate.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer arises when abnormal cells in the prostate gland start to grow and multiple rapidly. Not all abnormal growths are cancerous (malignant). Cancerous growths, such as prostate cancer, can invade nearby organs such as the bladder or rectum and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body like lymph nodes, bones, liver or the lungs.

At what age is the prostate cancer common?

Prostate cancer risks increase with age. More than half of all prostate cancer is found in men older than 65 years. Prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 50.

Is Prostate cancer serious?

Prostate cancer is the second common cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Exact data of prostate cancer in India is not available as cancer reporting system is not robust. About 1 man in 41 will die of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die due to prostate cancer disease but rather due to associated comorbid conditions.

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