Men's Prostate Health
The prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system. Located just below the bladder, the prostate is about the size of a walnut and is responsible for producing semen, the fluid that transports sperm. As men age, they become more likely to develop issues with their prostate including prostatitis, enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.
Prostatitis is swelling of the prostate gland that can be caused by a bacterial infection. The National Cancer Institute estimates that prostatitis affects nearly half of all men at some point during their lives. The disorder is commonly treated with antibiotics and does not increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.
Enlarged prostate or BPH is a common issue for men over 55. An enlarged prostate can apply pressure to the urethra and cause problems with urination. Men with an enlarged prostate may experience many symptoms including frequent urination, weak urinary stream, dribbling of urine, urinary tract infection and trouble starting to urinate. Medication is the most common treatment for BPH while surgery is sometimes recommended for more severe cases.
Podcast: What Men Should Know About an Enlarged Prostate
In this segment, urologist Richard Conner, MD, discusses the signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate, potential diagnoses and treatment options.
More than 200,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Prostate cancer generally grows slowly and men may not show symptoms until an advanced stage. Depending on severity, many treatment options are available for patients suffering from prostate cancer including surgery, radiation therapy or careful observation. Men with prostate cancer may experience some of these symptoms: frequent urination, difficulty urinating, blood in semen or urine, pain in the lower back, painful urination and more.
Monitoring Your Prostate Health
Understanding the most common symptoms associated with changes to the prostate can help you monitor your prostate health. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
- Painful ejaculation
- Dribbling of urine
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is recommended to discuss them with your doctor as soon as possible. Temecula Valley Hospital encourages all men over the age of 50 to get regular prostate exams.
The American Cancer Society also recommends men discuss the possibility of prostate cancer screenings with their doctor. This is especially true for men who have a higher risk of developing the disease, such as those with a family history.