The prostate gland is responsible for secreting fluid that aids in discharging sperm. It is located below the bladder and surrounding the urethra – the tube that transports urine from the bladder through the penis. When the prostate gland enlarges, it gives stress on the urethra, narrowing the passage of the urethra. As a result, men with enlarged prostate glands experience problems associated with urination.
A male’s prostate gland commonly starts to enlarge upon reaching the age of forty. Considered as the most common prostate treatment performed among men aged at sixty and older, this condition is called BHP, which stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
When the prostate starts to grow, muscles of the bladder powerfully push urine into the narrow urethra. Because of this, these muscles become relatively thicker and more sensitive, causing patients to urinate more frequently. Without proper prostate treatments, the patient’s condition can lead to kidney problems, repeated urinary tract infection and bladder damage.
Majority of patients suffering from enlarged prostate reported no symptoms. Some men had trouble starting and stopping the flow of urine, leaking or dribbling urine, frequent urination, blood in the urine and a feeling that the bladder does not empty.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Enlarged Prostate Treatments
Choosing between surgical and non-surgical prostate treatments depend on the level of inflammation, defects associated with the prostate enlargement and other factors. For earlier stages of enlarged prostate, one of the most used non-surgical treatments is thermotherapy.
This therapy uses different kinds of energy for heat to destroy tissues of the enlarged prostate. Before recommending other enlarged prostate treatments, most doctors prescribe medication to alleviate the symptoms and reduce swelling. Unfortunately, drugs used for treating enlarged prostate should be taken each day for the patient’s entire life. The large costs of medication and associated side effects like dizziness, fatigue, headache, loss of sex drive and impotence can be a problem to most people.
When the swelling of a patient’s prostate gland do not respond to non-invasive treatments, a surgical prostate treatment is the best option. Although surgery is the most effective treatment for prostate inflammation, not only is it costly, but it comes with possible risks like incontinence, erectile dysfunction, blood transfusion and retrograde ejaculation. Two most common types of surgical prostate treatment include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and laser surgery.
Both treatments are very effective, but traditional TURP requires the patient 2 to 3-day hospitalization and restriction of activities for weeks. Because of this, laser surgery is now commonly used because since the tissues are removed using laser, only a day of hospitalization is needed with the same results provided by TURP. Prostate treatment to cure inflammation is important to decrease the risks of kidney or bladder damages, defects of prostate glands and prostate cancer. If you are having problems with urinating, it is best to seek medical attention and undergo examinations to check if your prostate gland is free from unwanted swelling.
As we work to study cancer and try to educate about the different kinds of cancer, as well as how these cancers affect the body, discussion about prostate cancer has grown. The mere mention of cancer tends to bring up images of situations that are often life-threatening, but as it turns out, prostate cancer is one of the few kinds where doctors need to balance the need to test your prostate with situations where it’s not necessary. While you have every right to be worried about prostate cancer, knowing some facts about it will help you to understand when the time is right to test your prostate.
It’s a Matter of Time
With prostate cancer, timing seems to be everything. It affects more men over age 50 than any others, which is why doctors recommend this as the magic age when you start to test your prostate regularly. But prostate cancer is a slow-moving disease, and one of the big balancing acts among doctors is whether or not to work to rid the body of cancer when the treatment may in fact shorten life expectancy. It moves so slowly that many men who have prostate cancer never have the disease develop to where they show symptoms from it. Because of this, the older the individual is, the less likely doctors are to suggest treatment. Men over the age of 75 in particular often do not test their prostates anymore because it’s more likely that they will die of other things before prostate cancer is advanced enough to kill.
There are two tests for prostate cancer that are common today, the digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. The DRE is just what it sounds like, a test for your prostate that involves inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum in order to check for lumps. If you’re over the age of 50, this test might be part of your annual exam. While this particular prostate test isn’t very pleasant, it can catch the most advanced and life-threatening cancers.
The PSA test, in contrast, can alert physicians to prostate cancer well before the advanced stages. The advantage to this prostate test is that it can also detect other conditions, such as infections of the prostate, that also have adverse effects on your health. The drawback to the PSA test, from a physician’s point of view, is because it detects problems at such an early stage, some patients will demand treatment for prostate cancer before the benefits outweigh the health risks.
Just as mentioned before, prostate cancer is a slow-moving disease, so be sure to talk with your physician about the risks and benefits of the different kinds of prostate tests as well as what he recommends in the event that prostate cancer is found. With a little care and sound medical advice, both you and your prostate will remain healthy for years to come.