The prostate gland is situated below the bladder and surrounds the urethra or the tube that drains urine out of the bladder. The purpose of this gland in the body it to produce semen and its secretions contain important enzymes and nutrients that are needed by the sperms to fertilize the egg. Once the reproductive functions are over, the gland does not decrease in size and rather keeps growing such that by old age it starts to obstruct the passage of urine. Here are the five important diseases that affect the prostate and cause problems.
Benign Growth of Prostate
In most cases the prostate comes to notice when it starts to block the passage of urine. This occurs because of the natural growth of this gland under the influence of Testosterone which is produced in all men by the testis. Patients start to develop urgency to void, have to wake up many times in the night to pass urine and have to strain to void with a poor stream. Benign Growth of the Prostate needs assessment of the severity of symptoms and can be managed with medications. Only if the symptoms are severe is surgical removal of the prostate done. This surgery known as TURP is done without any scars through the passage of urine.
Prostate cancer is now becoming the second most popular cancer among men in metropolitan cities like Delhi. This also presents with similar symptoms as the Benign Hyperplasia of the prostate, except that there is a rise in serum PSA levels which can be tested to see if the symptoms are because of BPH or Prostate cancer. When detected early, prostate cancer is curable and management includes removal of the entire prostate gland along with surrounding structures. If the disease is already advanced, it can still be managed by radiotherapy and surgery along with hormonal therapy. The key is to detect this in time by a PSA test and examination by the Urologist
Infection in the prostate is also quiet common and can lead to burning in urine, discomfort in the perineum and lower urinary tract symptoms like frequency, urgency and nocturia. If can also lead to difficulty in performing sex. Chronic prostatitis is very common in India and can be a cause of recurrent UTIs specially in diabetics. It can falsely elevate PSA and lead to confusion with prostate cancer.
Acute Prostatitis is a form of UTI that is very severe and very difficult to treat. Since the prostate is made of multiple tunnels through which the seminal secretions flow, bacteria find it a good place to reside. Acute prostatitis presents with severe symptoms which can range from fever with chills to severe difficulty in passing urine and urgent treatment in the form of intravenous antibiotics may be needed.
Prostatic abscess refers to the collection of pus in the prostate gland. This condition is extremely painful and results in high grade fever. It is very difficult to differentiate the condition from acute prostatitis which is a precursor for abscess formation. The abscess has to be drained either by surgery or through the ultrasound.
Prostate is an organ that can affect men of all ages. Acute prostatitis and abscess affect young men while chronic prostatitis and prostate enlargement present in the old age. It is thus essential to take care of the prostate by staying away from fatty food, drinking 10-12 glasses of fluids a day and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Men often shy away from visiting doctors but it is important to ask for help and undergo regular screening. Take a step towards healthy living and book an appointment with a Men’s Health Expert today at Paras Hospitals.