Last week, we focused on the basics of prostate function. Keeping in mind our objective, continuing to break the silence and stigma around men’s health. Prostate health in particular. Today we move on to discuss the most common prostate-related problems.
One thing is clear, most men at some point in their lives experience some kind of prostate problem. It is unfortunate, but very common and quite normal, especially in the later stages of life.
There are three conditions we most often associate with prostate problems:
- Prostate cancer
We have outlined more details on each one below.
BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or enlarged prostate
BPH, also often referred to as “enlarged prostate,” is a condition in which the prostate grows excessively. This excessive growth of the prostate gland most often occurs in men past the age of around 50. By the later stages of life, the prostate can double or even triple in size.
Cancer, however, is not the culprit of this condition. As one can observe in its name it is benign, not cancerous. This does not mean though that there is not a cancerous condition along with it. Hence why it is so important to get examined regularly, especially from the age of 40 onwards.
This condition is so common, doctors practically consider it a normal part of men’s aging process. In fact, BPH is expected to happen to most men.
Fortunately for about 50% of men, BPH is asymptomatic. Many, however, will still experience problems. It can, for example, make it more difficult to urinate by putting excess pressure on the urethra. Essentially pinching it off and making the bladder’s muscles have to work harder.
This condition constitutes an inflamed prostate. There are two primary types within this condition:
- Acute prostatitis: This form is cause by an infection. More often than not it’s due to a bacterial infection. Common symptoms include: painful urination, small urine streams and at times fever and chills.
- Chronic prostatitis: Also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This condition is, unfortunately, harder to define. The nature of its origin is not completely understood yet and can vary from case to case. Symptoms often associated with it include: chronic pelvic discomfort or pain, pain or burning during urination, increased urges to urinate, difficulty urinating or even painful ejaculation. These symptoms can appear separately or simultaneously. A recurring imflamation with or without infection is usually the root cause. However, determening the exact origin of these symptoms is what is hardest to identify.
The scientific community defines cancer as an abnormal growth of cells. It becomes prostate cancer specifically when this growth of abnormal cells is limited to the prostate gland. Regionally advanced prostate cancer, on the other hand, refers to when it begins spreading to other tissues. Then there is metastatic cancer, this is when it has moved on to farther regions of the body. Fortunately, advancements in research and technology have provided great progress in the treatment of prostate cancer. Screening, testing, and treating it is much easier and more accessible now than ever.
Check our resources section for further information. Where you can also find inspiration from success and survival stories, or we can help you connect with a prostate cancer survivor. If you have any questions, or just want to talk, call us at our toll-free hotline: 1(833)HEAL-MEN. You are not alone in this journey. We are here to help guide and support you through it, every step of the way.