An important discussion about your prostate health


Many men have problems with the prostate at some time in their lives. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It’s located just below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). When problems occur in the prostate, the bladder and urethra are often affected as well. Urinary symptoms such as frequent urination can be the result of prostate problems.

BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) develops when changing hormone levels cause the prostate to grow larger. This often begins around age 50. Excess tissue can block the urethra, making it harder for urine to flow. The enlarged prostate can also press on the bladder, so you may need to urinate more often.

Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation that causes the prostate to become painful and swollen. This narrows the urethra and can block the bladder neck. Prostatitis can cause a burning sensation during urination. You may also feel pressure or pain in the genital area. In some cases, prostatitis can cause fever and chills, and can make you very sick.

Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer can often be cured or controlled, especially if it is found and treated early. Screening tests help detect prostate cancer before it causes any symptoms.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
  • Age. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases as you grow older.
  • Family history. If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, your risk of developing it is higher.
  • Race. African American men are more likely than other men to develop prostate cancer. They are also more likely to die of prostate cancer than other men with this disease.

Screening for Cancer
Screening for prostate cancer is done with a physical exam and blood tests. These tests can help determine whether it is likely that you have cancer. The American Urological Association recommends that men with risk factors begin yearly screening at age 40. Men with no risk factors are offered yearly screening at age 50.

Read more about screenings here.

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