The prostate is an important male reproductive organ. Your prostate may not cause any problem in your middle-age period, provided you have any congenital disorder. But after the age of 40, one may suffer from prostate ailments that go undetected due to no symptoms. Hence, it is important to get your prostate checked regularly by consulting your physician. Also, you should know few things about prostate and its function.
The Prostate And Its Function
The prostate is a small gland, which is slightly larger than a walnut. It is considered as a crucial male reproductive organ that is located in front of the rectum, just below the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra. It secretes a milky-white, alkaline fluid that constitutes 50-75% semen volume. The alkalinity of semen helps in neutralizing the acidity of vaginal secretions. Prostate helps in expelling semen during the process of ejaculation. The prostatic secretions contain prostatic enzymes, simple sugars, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), protein and zinc. Male hormone i.e. testosterone regulates the function of prostate.
The function of prostate is usually deteriorated after the age of 60, and men attaining the age of 40 should undergo regular prostate examination. The common problems associated with prostate are inflammation (prostatitis), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. In initial stages of BPH and malignancy, there are no signs and symptoms. As the disease progresses, one may find difficulty in urination and pain. Therefore, it is recommended to undergo regular check-up of prostate for early detection and treatment.
Importance Of Getting Your Prostate Checked
Many people are not aware of the problem caused due to prostate. In many cases, this gland is affected causing prostate cancer. Carcinoma of prostate is one of the leading causes of death in United States. According to statistics, nearly 80 percent of men suffer from BPH, and 1 out of 10 males is affected by prostate cancer. Usually, the cancer of this gland occurs in men after the age of 50, and people with strong family background of prostate cancer are at the higher risk of getting the same at the age of 45.
The primary importance of getting your prostate examined is to detect malignancy, determine the stage and timely treatment. If malignancy is detected in early stages, prostate cancer is curable with the help of suitable treatment. Patients experience symptoms of malignancy after the tumor advances, such as delayed urination, dribbling of urine after micturition, nocturia, blood in urine, and dysuria. In later stages, there is pain in back associated with tenderness in pelvic region.
What Are The Investigations Done?
The most important examination that helps in detecting abnormality in prostate is digital rectal examination. It is a physical examination in which your doctor palpates your rectum and prostate. After finding problem in digital rectal examination, your physician may ask you to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) done. It is a blood test that determines the levels of PSA. Elevation in PSA levels suggests prostate malignancy. This test is then followed by a biopsy i.e. a small part of this gland is removed by your surgeon for histopathological analysis. Biopsy will reveal the stage of the cancer that helps in managing the malignancy. In advanced cases (metastasis), your medical advisor may ask you to get a CT scan, or bone scan, or MRI scan.
Management Of Carcinoma Of The Prostate
If detected early through regular check-ups, the tumor is curable with appropriate treatment. After considering your malignancy and its stage, your doctor may suggest you chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or hormone therapy. Radiation is done by using external beam therapy or brachytherapy (internal radiation). Many surgeons prefer surgical removal of prostate i.e. radical prostatectomy. Hormonal therapy is used in incurable cases to control the malignancy that increases the chance of survival. After the successful treatment in initial stages, one should keep regular follow-up with their doctor.
How To Prevent Prostate Cancer
One should stop all the unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse. Follow healthy diet plan by consulting your nutrition expert. Consume diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. You should practice physical exercises daily for at least 20 to 30 minutes. However, there are no medications that prevent malignancy of prostate.
You should go for regular screening of prostate after the age of 40, which will help you in early detection and management.