Only men have a prostate. The prostate is one of the organs of the male reproductive system and is walnut shaped gland which is lies under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the tube that carries semen in the body. The primary function of the prostate is to help make fluid for semen and protect the sperm.
Although prostate disorders can happen in any men, most often men develop prostate disorders after the age of 50. There are three most common disorders of the prostate - prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. Although the characteristic features of all the three diseases are almost the same, they are quite different. The severity of the disease and the treatment, vary from one prostate disease to another.
Prostatitis is a condition which is defined as an inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis can be caused by both bacterial infection and non-bacterial inflammation. It is a serious disorder that can have a major effect on the quality of life and this disease can be very painful. Prostatitis is associated with a wide range of symptoms and some of the symptoms that occur when the prostate gland gets inflamed are as follows:
- Urgency to urinate
- Inability to urinate completely
- Lower abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Lack of energy
There are two types of prostatitis - bacterial prostatitis and non-bacterial prostatitis.
1. Bacterial prostatitis - Bacterial prostatitis is categorized into two - acute bacterial prostatitis and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by bacteria and it can be life threatening is an infection is not treated properly. Chronic bacterial prostatitis results from some underlying problem in the prostate such as prostate stone.
2. Non-bacterial prostatitis - Non-bacterial prostatitis is a condition in which a prostate is inflamed without any involvement of bacteria. In this case, the symptom may disappear and come back soon.
BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common problem among men and it is more common in men above the age of 50. It is defined as a proliferation of smooth muscle and epithelial cells within the prostate transition zone. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a health problem with results in an enlarged prostate gland. This causes the prostatic urethra to be compressed and restricts the flow of urine from the bladder. This interference in the flow or urine leads to the occurrence of various symptoms and some of them include:
- Urgency to urinate
- Decreased stream
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a serious disorder which requires immediate treatment as if this disease is left untreated, progressive disease can lead to the complications such as the development of urinary tract infection, urinary retention, kidney blockage, and renal failure. Most often, symptoms of urinary tract symptoms are referred to as lower urinary tract symptoms.
Cancer is a life threatening disease in which the cells of the body start to grow uncontrollably and prostate cancer is the type of cancer in which the cells of the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. In many cases, prostate cancer is left undetected because generally prostate cancer is slow growing and can take a number of years to become large. Age is the biggest risk factor for the development of prostate gland but there are other risk factors as well such as genetic factors, and lifestyle factors. Prostate cancer can cause various symptoms and some of them include:
- Frequency to urinate
- Stiffness and pain in the lower back
- Difficulty holding back urination
- Painful ejaculation
Dietary pattern and diseases like obesity also play a role in increasing the risk of developing prostate gland. There are some evidences that suggest that men who smoke are at high risk of developing prostate cancer.