The Prostate Gland

Posted on 2013-05-26 22:00:42

The prostate gland is a doughnut-shaped cluster of glands located at the bottom of the bladder about halfway between the rectum and the base of the penis. The main function of the prostate gland is to store and produce seminal fluid. Seminal fluid is a milky liquid that transports and nourishes sperm. It requires male hormones, like testosterone, to function properly, helping to regulate bladder control and normal sexual functioning. Problems of the prostrate
  1. Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland. It is often the result of infectious bacteria that invades the prostate from another area of the body. It can affect men in their late teens to those well into old age. The condition is not contagious and cannot be transmitted sexually to a partner. Its symptoms include:
  • Trouble passing urine,
  • chills and fever, and
  • Sexual problems.
  • Urgent feeling to urinate,
  • weak urinary stream,
  • frequent need to urinate, and
  • Involuntary discharge of urine.
  • Difficulty starting urine flow,
  • Pain during urination,
  • loss of weight and appetite,
  • blood in urine,
  • Painful ejaculation.
  1. Enlarged Prostate: As a man ages, the prostate can grow larger. When a man reaches the age of 40, the prostate gland might have increased from the size of a walnut to that of an apricot. By the time he reaches the age of 60, it might be the size of a lemon. This is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate that can interfere with urination. Symptoms include:
  1. Prostate Cancer: Cancer affecting the prostate gland. Prostate cancer grows slowly and may not spread for many years. A prostate exam can help prevent prostate cancer. Symptoms include:
Prostate Tests
  • Digital rectal examination: A doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate. A DRE can sometimes detect an enlarged prostate, lumps or nodules of prostate cancer, or tenderness from prostatitis.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): The prostate makes a protein called PSA, which can be measured by a blood test. If PSA is high, prostate cancer is more likely, but an enlarged prostate can also cause a high PSA.
  • Prostate ultrasound: An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum, bringing it close to the prostate. Ultrasound is often done with a operation to test for prostate cancer.
  • Prostate biopsy: A needle is inserted into the prostate to take tissue out to check for prostate cancer. This is usually done through the rectum.