What is it and what is the prostate? Most of have not heard of the prostate gland unless we are referring to Prostate Cancer. The prostate gland, an organ in itself is found at the neck of the urinary bladder. The first part of the urethra (the passage which allows urine to drain from the bladder and exit via the penis) is surrounded by the prostate gland.The prostate gland has more that one function. Urination is controlled by the prostate gland pressing against the urethra that it directly surrounds. Some of the substances such as minerals and sugar in normal semen are produced by the prostate gland. The prostate gland is not an essential organ of the body, however.
The size of a prostate gland is the same as a walnut in a young man. Usually, through aging the prostate gland will grow bigger. This is known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Many people get this confused with prostate cancer. BPS is no associated with prostate cancer. However, Prostate cancer and BPH can cause very similar problems in older men. An enlarged prostate gland can impinge or squeeze on the outlet of the urethra or bladder making it difficult to urinate. This usually causes the urinary stream to be slowed down and urinating more frequently especially at night time.
What is prostate cancer?
Opposed to a benign BPH a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the prostate is a build up of cells from the prostate gland. Tumors of the prostate usually grow slowly and stays confined to the prostate form many years. Prostate cancer often goes undetected for many years as it produces very little or no symptoms or signs on the outside. However as the cancer progresses it can spread beyond the prostate gland into surrounding areas, known as a ‘local spread’.
Eventually the cancer can metastasize which means spread even further to other areas of the bony including the bones, lungs and the liver. The symptoms that now become present are usually associated with advanced prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is very important as it is the most common malignancy in men in USA. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths following lung cancer. It is therefore recommended by experts that men should undergo a yearly screening for prostate cancer from the age of 40.
Symptoms to Look Out For
There are many symptoms to look out for and spending a couple of moments to look out for any of the following and getting it checked out save a lives:
* Frequent urination
* Weak urine stream
* Difficulty starting urination
* Burning sensation with urination
* Incomplete emptying of the bladder
* Blood or pus in the urine
* Loss of erection
* Blood in semen
* Burning with ejaculation
* Low back pain
* Discolored semen
* Interrupted urine stream
* Frequent sensation of having a full bladder