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Prostrate Health


 Maintaining a Healthy Prostate

Healthy Prostrate

The prostate is about the size of a walnut and is located in front of the rectum, behind the base of the penis and underneath the bladder. Only men have a prostate. The prostate is one of the male sex glands, which along with the testicles and the seminal vesicles, secrete the fluid called semen. The prostate is made up largely of muscular and glandular tissues. Its main function is to produce fluid for semen, which transports sperm. During the male orgasm (climax), muscular contractions squeeze the prostate’s fluid into the urethra. Sperm, which are produced in the testicles, also are propelled into the urethra during orgasm. The sperm-containing semen leaves the penis during ejaculation.

 
Prostate Cancer

Each year, over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the U.S., and over 35,000 deaths are caused annually by the disease. Approximately one in every six men will develop this form of cancer, which is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in men, and the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases with age.

Every man over age 40 is at risk for prostate cancer. And African Americans have the highest risk for developing the disease. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer also greatly increases a man's likelihood of developing the disease. In addition, studies show that a high-fat diet may contribute to the development of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that most often begins in the outer part of the prostate. As the tumor grows, it may spread to the inner part of the prostate. It must grow fairly large before it presses on the urethra and interferes with urination. Cancer that is confined within the prostate and has not spread is called localized prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer also may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, the lungs, and the bones, especially the bones of the hip and lower back.

If prostate cancer is allowed to progress without treatment, it may spread to other organs, causing disability and sometimes death. Advanced prostate cancer is more likely to cause symptoms. However, by the time prostate cancer has reached this stage, it is less responsive to treatment.

 
Why Are Prostate Checkups Important?
 
There are two main reasons for having annual prostate checkups:

The diagnosis of prostate problems.

BPH or prostatitis may cause annoying or painful symptoms. A prostate checkup is the first step in determining the cause of the symptoms.

The early detection of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is often curable, with early detection.
But, the early stages of prostate cancer may cause no symptoms and can only be detected by regular checkups.

 

Some Symptoms That May Indicate a Prostate Problem

• A weak urinary stream

• Difficulty starting urination

• Interruption of the stream (stopping and starting)

• Pain or burning with urination

• Urgency (difficulty postponing urination)

• Frequent urination

• Awakening frequently at night to urinate

• Blood in urine


The American Urological Association endorses the American Cancer Society's policy that both a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10 year life expectancy and to younger men who are at high risk. For men at high risk for prostate cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease or African Americans, testing may begin at a younger age (e.g. 45 years). An immediate checkup should be performed on any man who suddenly develops persistent urinary symptoms. A yearly examination may help avoid the potentially serious consequences of advanced prostate cancer.

 

 
Florida Prostate Cancer Network is a Florida non-profit organization,Federal Tax ID 59-3545266
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Disclaimer

"The information that FPCN provides is general and informative. 
FPCN's information should not take the place of the advice from your doctor."