The prostate is a small gland located in the male reproductive system. It is responsible for producing seminal fluid that helps carry sperm during ejaculation.
However, as men age, they may experience various prostate problems that can cause discomfort and affect their quality of life.
Based on web search results, prostate problems can have different causes and symptoms depending on the type of disorder.
There are several types of prostate problems, including:
This is a malignant growth of cells in the prostate gland that can spread to other parts of the body. It often has no symptoms in its early stages but can cause difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, and pain in the hips, back, or chest.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH):
This is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, which is common in men over the age of 50. It can cause difficulty urinating, weak urine flow, frequent urination, and a sense of urgency.
This is an inflammation of the prostate gland, which can be caused by a bacterial infection or other factors. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, difficulty urinating, and fever or chills.
Treatment options for prostate problems depend on the specific condition and severity of symptoms. In the case of prostate cancer, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. BPH can often be managed with medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery. Prostatitis may require antibiotics or other medications to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.
- Prostatitis, which is inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. It can cause pain or burning sensation when urinating, frequent or urgent need to pee, fever, chills, and pelvic or genital pain12.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is enlargement of the prostate gland due to aging. It can cause difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, weak urine stream, dribbling at the end of urination, nocturia (peeing more often at night), and incomplete bladder emptying34.
Other possible causes of urinary symptoms that may be confused with prostate problems include urinary tract infection, inflamed prostate, narrowing of the urethra, bladder or kidney stones, nerve problems, and cancer3. Therefore, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a health care provider if you have any of these symptoms.
August 2022 – New Scientific Discovery
Scientists Discover The Real Root Cause Of Prostate Problems
Here are some references and links to further information about prostate problems:
- American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer.html
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostate-enlargement-benign-prostatic-hyperplasia
- Mayo Clinic. Prostatitis: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355766
- Prostate Cancer Foundation. Understanding Prostate Cancer: https://www.pcf.org/about-prostate-cancer/
- National Cancer Institute. Prostate Cancer Treatment: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq
- American Urological Association. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): https://www.auanet.org/education/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-(bph)
- Harvard Health Publishing. Prostate Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/prostate-health
I hope you find this information helpful.
How to check for prostate problems
Based on web search results, there are several tests that can help check for prostate problems. Some of them are:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This test measures the level of PSA, a protein made by the prostate gland, in the blood. High PSA levels can indicate prostate enlargement, inflammation, infection, or cancer12.
- Urinary flow test. This test measures the speed and volume of urine flow. It can help detect blockages or narrowing of the urethra caused by an enlarged prostate13.
- Postvoid residual volume test. This test measures how much urine remains in the bladder after urination. It can help assess how well the bladder empties and whether the prostate is interfering with urine flow13.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE). This is a physical exam in which the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for any abnormalities in size, shape, or texture34.
- Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). This is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of the prostate and surrounding tissues. It can help detect suspicious areas that may need further evaluation4.
These tests are usually done by a doctor or a health care provider. They may not be able to diagnose prostate problems by themselves, but they can provide useful information and guide further testing if needed. A prostate biopsy, which involves taking a small sample of prostate tissue for microscopic examination, is the only way to confirm if prostate cancer is present4.
How can I prepare for these tests?
Based on web search results, different prostate tests may require different preparations. Some general tips are:
- Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you take, especially those that can thin your blood, such as aspirin or NSAIDs12.
- Avoid ejaculation, bike riding, or other activities that can put pressure on the prostate for at least 48 hours before the test, as they can affect your PSA levels or cause discomfort12.
- Clear out your intestines by taking a laxative or enema a few hours before the test, especially if you are having a transrectal ultrasound or biopsy34.
- Don’t eat for a few hours before the test, especially if you are having a transrectal ultrasound or biopsy34.
- Relax and breathe normally during the test, as this can help reduce pain and make the exam easier15.
Your doctor will give you more specific instructions based on the type of test you are having and your medical history. Follow them carefully and ask any questions you may have before the test.
- 1. niddk.nih.gov
- 2. healthline.com
- 3. healthline.com
- 4. mayoclinic.org
- 5. my.clevelandclinic.org
- 6. wikihow.com
What are the risks and benefits of these tests?
Based on web search results, the risks and benefits of prostate tests may vary depending on the type of test and the individual situation. Some general points are:
- The benefits of prostate tests may include:
- The risks of prostate tests may include:
- False positive results, which occur when the test suggests a problem but there is none. This can lead to unnecessary anxiety, follow-up tests, or treatments that may have side effects124.
- False negative results, which occur when the test misses a problem that is present. This can delay diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer or other conditions24.
- Overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which occur when the test finds a slow-growing or harmless prostate cancer that would not have caused any symptoms or harm in the person’s lifetime. This can expose men to treatments that may not benefit them but may cause complications such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, infection, bleeding, or pain1234.
Your doctor can help you weigh the risks and benefits of prostate tests based on your age, risk factors, symptoms, preferences, and values. You should discuss the pros and cons of each test and make an informed decision together.
Normal ranges for Prostate Diagnostic Tests :
Based on web search results, the normal ranges for prostate tests may depend on the type of test and the individual situation. Some general points are:
- For the PSA test, the normal range is usually considered to be 0 to 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood12.
However, this range may vary depending on the age, race, and other factors of the person being tested.
Some men with prostate cancer may have PSA levels below 4 ng/mL, while some men without prostate cancer may have PSA levels above 4 ng/mL13.
Therefore, the PSA test is not a definitive test for prostate cancer, but rather a screening tool that may indicate the need for further testing.
- For the urinary flow test, the normal range may depend on the age and sex of the person being tested. In general, a healthy urine flow rate is 10 milliliters per second (mL/s) or higher. A lower urine flow rate may indicate a blockage or narrowing of the urethra caused by an enlarged prostate or other condition.
- For the postvoid residual volume test, the normal range is usually considered to be less than 50 milliliters (mL) of urine left in the bladder after urination. A higher postvoid residual volume may indicate a problem with bladder emptying or urine flow caused by an enlarged prostate or other condition.
- For the digital rectal exam (DRE), there is no specific numerical range for normality. Rather, the doctor will feel for any abnormalities in the size, shape, or texture of the prostate gland. A normal prostate should feel smooth, firm, and symmetrical. An abnormal prostate may feel hard, lumpy, irregular, or tender.
- For the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), there is no specific numerical range for normality either. Rather, the doctor will look for any suspicious areas in the prostate or surrounding tissues that may need further evaluation. A normal prostate should appear homogeneous and well-defined. An abnormal prostate may show areas of increased or decreased echogenicity (brightness), irregular margins, calcifications, cysts, or masses.
These tests are not always accurate or conclusive. Your doctor will interpret your test results based on your medical history, symptoms, risk factors, and other tests. You should discuss your test results with your doctor and ask any questions you may have.
How do I choose which test to have?
The choice of which test to have depends on your individual situation and preferences. You should discuss the pros and cons of each test with your doctor and consider the following factors:
- Your age, race, family history, and other risk factors for prostate cancer
- Your symptoms, if any, and how they affect your quality of life
- Your PSA level and how it has changed over time
- The accuracy, reliability, and availability of each test
- The potential benefits and harms of each test, including false positive or negative results, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and complications
- The cost and coverage of each test by your insurance plan
- Your personal values and goals for screening and treatment
There is no one right answer for everyone. Some men may prefer to have more tests to be sure about their prostate status, while others may prefer to have fewer tests to avoid unnecessary anxiety or interventions. Some men may opt out of screening altogether if they have a low risk of prostate cancer or a short life expectancy. The decision is yours to make with your doctor’s guidance and support.
What are the side effects of prostate treatments?
Side effects of prostate treatments
Based on web search results, the side effects of prostate treatments may depend on the type of treatment and the individual situation. Some general points are:
For hormone therapy for prostate cancer, the side effects may include:
- Loss of muscle mass and increased body fat
- Loss of sex drive and erectile dysfunction
- Bone thinning, which can lead to broken bones
- Hot flashes and decreased body hair
- Growth of breast tissue and smaller genitalia
- Fatigue and changes in behavior
- Problems with metabolism and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease1
For surgery for prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the side effects may include:
- Urinary incontinence, which is accidental leakage of urine
- Erectile dysfunction, which is difficulty getting or keeping an erection
- Retrograde ejaculation, which is semen flowing backward into the bladder instead of out through the penis during ejaculation
- Urinary tract infection, which is an infection of the bladder or kidneys
- Bleeding, which may require a blood transfusion
- Infection, which may require antibiotics
- Nerve damage, which may affect bladder or bowel control234
For radiation therapy for prostate cancer, the side effects may include:
- Urinary problems, such as burning, frequency, urgency, or blood in the urine
- Bowel problems, such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or inflammation
- Erectile dysfunction, which may occur months or years after treatment
- Fatigue, which may last for several weeks after treatment
- Lymphedema, which is swelling of the legs due to blockage of lymphatic drainage4
These are some of the common side effects of prostate treatments, but they are not exhaustive. Some men may experience other side effects or none at all. Some side effects may be temporary or manageable, while others may be permanent or serious. Your doctor can help you understand the possible side effects of your treatment and how to cope with them.