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Warning signs & disease
WARNING SIGNS OF PROSTATE TROUBLE

There are several symptoms, for example;

- urinate more frequently, especially in the middle of the night.
- urination somehow is more difficult, uneven or unintentional.
- blood in your urine.
- burning sensation when you "take a leak" or ejaculate.
- pain in your upper thighs, lower back or pelvis.

If you have some similar symptoms as above, it is often indicate normal enlargement as you age or may be simply you've been drinking more liquids, or under extra stress lately. But be warned. While prostate cancer can cause these symptoms, it can be symptom-less. If you have any concern at all about your prostate, see a doctor quickly.

THE THREE MAJOR PROSTATE DISEASES

Basically, there are 3 diseases that can strike the prostate:

  1. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or Hypertrophy (BPH)- are benign diseases that do not cause cancer (but doesn't mean you won't get it) and usually in male age group of 40s.

  2. Prostatitis-- can strike men at any age that can lead to other prostate problems. For high-risk males, symptoms may start much younger.

  3. Cancer of the prostate
A) Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

If urination symptoms suggested Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, it can prevent the bladder from emptying completely, thus leaving urine behind. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder may cause "urge incontinence." This means your bladder is irritated by retained urine which leads to spasm. The result? You don't make it to the bathroom in time. All these can cause bladder infections, stones and even kidney damage! The size of the prostate does not always determine how severe the obstruction or the symptoms will be. Some men with seriously enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms, while some with less enlarged glands, have more blockage and greater problems.

Since urine retention and BPH may cause urinary tract infections, do take notice the symptoms of BPH yourself , or consult your doctor during a routine checkup that if your prostate is enlarged or not. If BPH is suspected, you may be referred to an urologist (a doctor who specializes in problems of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system). A doctor will usually clear up any infection with antibiotics before treating the BPH itself. Although the need for treatment is not usually urgent, doctors generally advise going ahead with treatment once the problems become bothersome or present a health risk. Instead of immediate therapy, regular checkups are recommended to watch for early problems.

At present, conventional treatments include watch and wait, to see how bad symptoms can become, followed by drug therapy and then surgery if necessary. The last two treatments can cause side effects including impotence.

B) PROSTATITIS-infection & inflammation of the gland

prostate-disease1Basically there are two kinds of prostatitis namely: Infectious (Bacterial) prostatitis and non-bacterial prostatitis.

Infectious Prostatitis
Any man at any age can develop an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland, known as prostatitis

Prostatitis can affect young men in their prime of life. Though not deadly but it's not fun to have it either. A disabling disease that may have a drastic reduction in the quality of life, cause intense pain, urinary complications, sexual dysfunction and infertility. This infection can be just a one-time occurrence, or it can be chronic, persistent or recurrent. Bacteria or some other microorganism can cause the disease, or it can result from other factors other than bacteria.

Non-bacterial or non-infectious prostatitis. There are 2 categories:
a) Congestive prostatitis or Prostatostasis occurs when too much prostatic fluid, the milky fluid in semen, accumulates within the prostate gland rather than being ejaculated out through the penis. The gland is said to be congested.

b) Another conditions, Prostatodynia, in which pain "seems" to originate in the prostate but is much more likely to be coming from the muscles of the pelvic floor, from an inflammation in one or more of the pelvic bones, or from a disease in the rectum. Despite its name, prostatodynia really has nothing to do with the prostate.

Being a tough disease to diagnose, effective prostatitis treatment is sometimes difficult. This often leads to frustration for both patients and doctors. A patient may show a variety of symptoms which often include:

  • Low back pain.
  • Joint aches.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Burning upon urination.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Urgent urination.
  • Generalized malaise.
  • Pain deep in the rectum and scrotal areas.

At times the symptoms may also include fever or pain almost anywhere within the pelvis and scrotum. These above symptoms may be mild or overwhelming.

As previously mentioned, it can be caused by bacteria similar to those which cause other types of urinary infections. However, some men have no evidence of bacteria in their prostates, yet are thought to carry microorganisms (such as Chlamydia or Ureaplasma), which are harder to identify. Still some others have no evidence of any microorganisms at all. The reasons for their prostatitis symptoms are poorly understood and are possibly related to stress or congestion, certain medications such as cold remedies with antihistamines and decongestants may be a cause of symptoms too!

IF SEX IS GOOD, HOW CAN IT CAUSE PROSTATITIS?
--Too much sex? Not enough sex?

A healthy prostate secretes about one-tenth and two-fifths of a teaspoon of fluid. When you're sexually stimulated you produce four to ten times that amount. Normally or ideally, you release it by ejaculating otherwise your prostate becomes congested or balloon. An abrupt fall-off in sexual climaxes (maybe your partner is mad at you) can engorge the prostate as well. Alternately, for example, let's say you have a "wild weekend" after a long period of celibacy. Your prostate which went into seclude for a period, isn't used to your being so suddenly, works strainnessly overtime to produce secretions for several ejaculations. As a result it can become inflamed

Similar with BPH, Prostatitis is also commonly treated with antibiotics that may be effective when there is actually an infecting bacteria. Many times, however, they are not effective in these cases, either because they don't eradicate the infection or because there never was an actual infection. Therefore, it is common for some patients to receive different courses of antibiotics. Sometimes certain drugs will be prescribed as its agent has a tenancy to relax the muscles of the bladder neck and the prostate gland.

In the event, if prostatitis becomes difficult to treat or kept recurring, surgery will be the last resort.

C) PROSTATE CANCER

prostate-disease2Man's greatest fear! Prostate cancer originate from the gland can be deadly if left undiagnosed, untreated or neglected. Cancer cells multiply uncontrollably and can invade healthy cells nearby. While it can happen to any age, a high percentage of men with the disease occur after the age of 65. The actual cause is a mystery. The biggest contributing factors are an increased of testosterone level and bad habits; alcohol, tobacco, poor diet, genital or sexual diseases and etc. These can increase your risk of contracting cancer!

One big problem with prostate cancer is there are no define set of symptoms. However, most cancer institute has identified a few as possible indicators of prostate cancer.

  • inability to urinate.
  • frequent urination especially at night.
  • urine incontinence.
  • pain during ejaculation.
  • weak urine flow.
  • burning sensation or pain felt when streaming urine.
  • blood in urine or semen.
  • frequent pain in hips, lower back or upper thighs.

You may see its all quite similar to BPH or prostatitis isn't it? As these symptoms may be caused not only by prostate cancer (probably from a number of other disorders not of prostate), it is advisable to seek consultation from your doctor or talk to someone, a family member who had these problem before

(Full view / print on Prostate Problems in PDF file.)