Prostate is an intrinsic part of male reproductive system. Not many males know thoroughly about this gland until they reach mid 40’s, as it does not have trouble in functioning so often. It is a walnut size gland located anterior to rectum, exactly between bladder and penis. Urethra passes through the centre of prostate, from bladder to penis and excretes urine out of body.
The gland secretes the fluid which protects and nourishes sperms. Fluid produced by the gland is squeezed into urethra via seminal vesicles at time of ejaculation process along with sperms as semen. The function of this seminal fluid is to protect sperms from acid denaturation in hostile environment of vagina to facilitate fertilization of female ovum.
In men with increasing age the level of sexual hormones keeps fluctuating and cause enlargement of the gland with no or very minor symptoms. Usually prostate problems are curable with timely diagnosis and treatment. Regular check up after 45 years of age in men helps in early detection of any anomaly. Talk with your doctor about your suggested monitoring plan.
Symptoms of enlarged prostate are:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Multiple bathroom visits during night
- Painful ejaculation
- Dribbling of urine
- Blood in urine or semen
- Burning sensation at time of urination
Enlarge prostate is reason behind many condition like Cancer, Prostatitis and Benign Prostate Hyperplasia.
Cancer is one of the frequently diagnosed conditions in older men through a prostate biopsy. Some cancer are slow growing localized to the organ and has very less chances to proliferate to other organs. Some men prefer to wait until full symptoms surfaces known as watchful waiting. Surgical, chemotherapy and hormone therapy are main source of treatment for cancer. Some cases where cancer are aggressive and spread quickly, patient lose life to other related medical complications.
Prostatitis is a type of acute inflammation caused by inflammation, easily treated with antibiotics. Prostatitis is a painful condition observed in men under 50yr of age. It can be acute – quick pain immediate subsiding of infection or chronic – may take months for pain and infection to subside and can reoccur too.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia is enlargement of prostate gland due to hormonal fluctuations affecting the normal functioning of organ as well as other adjacent organs. Men over age of 50yr should be watchful of this condition and look out for symptoms.
Prostate-specific Antigen – PSA is produced in large amount in condition like enlarged gland or when there is cancer present. It is preferred to check PSA after 45 years of age but screening can vary as per current health and family history of cancer. Normal laboratory reading for PSA blood test should be below 4ng/NL, which also varies with increasing age.
Balanced diet, decreased saturated fat and red meat consumption, exposure to sunlight and regular screening are must for healthy prostate.
-By Ruchi Talati