The Prostate – What You Need To Know
It’s been called the most troublesome gland in the male body and it often forces men to make a lot of uncomfortable decisions. Prostate issues such as infections can often begin when a man becomes sexually active. As men age, concerns often turn to difficulty with erections, pain, urine flow, and cancer.
Due to its location in the body, the prostate is difficult to examine and treat. If that were not enough, male knowledge of any issues occurring below the beltline are typically clouded by misinformation, lack of awareness, embarrassment and a self-imposed wall of male silence. Men often believe if I don’t talk about it – it will go away.
From discomfort while urinating, to pain and difficulty while starting a stream, study after study shows men typically refuse to speak up. On the whole men view medical visits as a waste of time, believing doctors can do little to help. When men actually show up at a medical office, they are likely not to ask questions or disclose much information about their overall health. Generally speaking, they are looking for the exit door the minute they enter the office.
In a nutshell (pun intended) the prostate gland produces most of the fluid in semen. Before puberty, the prostate is the size of a pea. After that, the gland grows to about the size of a walnut. Around the age of 20 the gland stops growing.
A new growth cycle begins around age 25. As men age, prostate growth can continue. The ever-increasing size often places pressure on the urethra, creating urination issues. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or (BPH) is simply an enlarged prostate. Over time the gland can grow to the size of a baseball. Untreated, the blockage can cause damage to the bladder, urinary tract infections, kidney damage and more.
Men fail to understand that the initial early warning signs for undetected prostate cancer often mimic BPH and other non-cancerous prostate issues. When ignored or left untreated, prostate cancer can become more difficult to treat or impossible to cure. Few men recognize that prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths among men in the United States.
Research shows that over 50% of men who express concerns about family history and prostate cancer, often refuse to visit a doctor because they have been told prostate problems are not urgent. Not many realize that a man dies from prostate cancer every 18 minutes in the United States. Prostate Cancer is not always the good cancer men live with.