Prostate, Its Appearance and Function
Prostate is a wall-nut shaped male gland located below the bladder. This organ weights only few grams at birth and during life reaches approximately 20 grams. The size of the prostate remains the same throughout life and at some point and due to certain condition the size of the gland can change. The basic role of the prostate is to produce semen. This is a milky-colored fluid necessary for transport of the sperm during ejaculation.
The change in size is most commonly in a form of the prostate enlargement. The enlargement of the prostate starts at the age of 45 and is frequent among men older than the age of 50. Once the prostate starts to grow it puts pressure to the urethra. Initially compression of urethra leads to insufficient urination and incomplete emptying of the bladder while later if the urethra is completely blocked there is a stop in urine flow.
What are Causes of Enlarged Prostate?
Enlargement of the prostate can be associated with benign and malignant diseases. In many young men enlarged prostate occurs due to prostatitis. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate. This condition features with pain in the groin, painful urination, difficulty urinating and several more symptoms. In 5-10% of all cases of prostatitis inflammation is caused by bacteria. Once these infective agents are laboratory confirmed patients are efficiently treated with antibiotics and the size of the prostate returns to normal. On the other hand, other cases of prostatitis which are not fully understood are more difficult to diagnose and treat.
One more cause of prostate enlargement is a benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is a non cancerous enlargement of the prostate and it typically affects older men. During the process of aging the prostate grows and may eventually reach size large enough to compress the surrounding tissues. Compression of the bladder and the urethra interferes in a normal flow of the urine and is responsible for all the symptoms and signs of the disease.
Enlarged prostate also occurs in men suffering from prostate cancer. This is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States. It has not been fully understood why prostate cancer occurs in the first place. However, the growth of the tumor leads to enlargement of the prostate and consequent symptoms and signs.
All men suffering from symptoms such as difficulty urinating, pain during urination or incomplete emptying of the bladder are due to visit their urologist as soon as possible. This way the actual cause of the symptoms and potential prostate enlargement can be identified and adequately treated. Prostatitis, a condition that generally affects younger men, requires proper treatment and frequent controls because it may cause infertility.