Prostate problems frequently occur in men over the age of 50. Fortunately, most problems are not cancer. Even if cancer is diagnosed, the relative five-year survival rate for all men is nearly 100 percent. The most common prostate problem diagnosed in men over 50 is prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP). This condition occurs because the prostate continues to grow as a man matures, potentially squeezing the urethra and affecting bladder control.
The prostate is part of a man’s sex organs and is responsible for producing fluid that is part of semen. Regardless of age, men should see a doctor immediately if they notice any signs of prostate problems, such as:
– Frequent urge to urinate
– Having to get up during the night to urinate
– Presence of blood in urine or semen
– Feeling pain or a burning sensation while urinating
– Inability to urinate
– Painful ejaculation
– Recurrent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvic area or upper leg
Diagnosing prostate problems may involve several tests, the first of which is usually the digital rectal exam (DRE). Magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans can also be used to identify abnormal structures.
If BHP is diagnosed, the condition can be managed several ways. Mild symptoms may not require any treatment. However, regular checkups are necessary to make sure the condition does not worsen. Other options include surgery or taking medications to shrink or relax the prostate so it does not block the bladder opening.
That is why it is important to see your doctor to determine the proper treatment.
Here is a small Q&A with Dr. Edward Gheiler, Urologist at Palmetto General Hospital
Is having urinary incontinence a normal part of aging?
No, and we have many treatments for it. The majority of patients do not need surgery.
Do you lose your erections after prostate cancer surgery?
Surgery for decreasing the size of the prostate usually improve erections. Cancer prostate surgery can cause erectile dysfunction, but this is easily treated.
Thanks to Palmetto General Hospital for this note. For a physician referral, call 1-800- 522-5292 or visit www.palmettogeneral.com