Facts About The Prostate Gland:
The prostate is a sex gland in men. It is about the size of a walnut, and surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra - the tube that carries urine from the bladder. It is partly muscular and partly glandular, with ducts opening into the prostatic portion of the urethra. It is made up of three lobes: a center lobe with one lobe on each side.
The prostate gland secretes a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, a fluid that carries sperm
Types Of Non-Cancerous Prostate Problems
There are clinical conditions of the prostate gland that are not cancer, including the following:
- Prostatism - Any condition of the prostate that causes interference with the flow of urine from the bladder.
- Prostatitis - An inflamed condition of the prostate gland that may be accompanied by discomfort, pain, frequent or infrequent urination, and, sometimes, fever.
- Prostatalgia - Pain in the prostate gland.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (Also called BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy.) - A specific term that defines the condition of an enlarged prostate. BPH is the most common non-cancerous prostate problem. It can cause discomfort and problems urinating. Although it is not cancer, BPH symptoms are often similar to those of prostate cancer.
- Impotence (Also called erectile dysfunction.) - the inability to achieve or maintain an erection.
- Urinary incontinence - the loss of bladder control.
These problems are quite common and may happen to men of all ages.
Prostate enlargement is a common condition that is associated with ageing. It is estimated that 60% of men who are 60 years of age, or over, have some degree of prostate enlargement.
If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and urethra. This can cause symptoms that affect urination (passing urine when going to the toilet).
- Difficulties Starting Urination,
- A Frequent Need To Urinate, And
- Difficulty Emptying The Bladder Fully.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It is responsible for 25% of newly diagnosed cases of cancer in England and Wales.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 65 or older.
For reasons that are not understood, prostate cancer is more common in men who are of Afro-Caribbean or African descent and less common in men of Asian descent.
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown.
The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good despite it being relatively challenging to treat. This is because, unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly. It can take up to 15 years for the cancer to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body (metastasis), typically the bones. In many cases, prostate cancer won't affect a man's natural life span.
Once the cancer has spread to the bones it can't be cured, and treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms. Approximately 9,000 men die from prostate cancer every year in England and Wales.
Prostate cancer can be cured when treated in its early stages. Treatments include removing the prostate, hormone therapy and radiotherapy (using radiation to kill the cancerous cells).
All the treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects including loss of sexual desire (libido), the inability to maintain or obtain an erection (sexual dysfunction) and urinary incontinence. For this reason many men decide to delay treatment until there is a significant risk that the cancer might spread.
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