If you’re a man over the age of 50, you should be getting your prostate checked regularly. Here’s a quick guide on how to do a self-check at home.
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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it is important to know how to check your prostate health.
There are two main ways to check your prostate health: a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
A DRE is a physical exam where your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for any abnormal bumps or lumps on your prostate. This exam can be uncomfortable, but it is important to have it done regularly starting at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history of prostate cancer).
A PSA test measures the level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate, in your blood. A high PSA level may be an indicator of prostate cancer. The PSA test is not perfect, but it can be helpful in combination with a DRE to screen for prostate cancer. All men over 50 should speak with their doctor about whether or not to have this test.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-size gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm during ejaculation. The prostate also helps to control urination and ejaculation.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It usually occurs in men over the age of 50. Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer can improve a man’s chances of survival.
There are several ways to check your prostate health. A digital rectal exam (DRE) is one way to check for abnormalities in the prostate gland. During a DRE, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum and feels the prostate for any lumps or other abnormalities. Your doctor may also order a blood test called a PSA test to check for elevated levels of PSA, which can be an indication of prostate cancer.
What are the symptoms of an unhealthy prostate?
There are a number of different symptoms which can be indicative of an unhealthy prostate. Difficulty urinating, or a decreased flow of urine, could be caused by an enlarged prostate. You may also experience urinary urgency or frequency, or a feeling that you need to urinate even when your bladder is empty. In some cases, urinary incontinence (leakage) can also be a symptom. Other potential symptoms include pain during urination, ejaculation, or blood in the urine or semen. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible to rule out any serious underlying conditions.
Who is at risk for prostate problems?
Most prostate problems occur in men over age 50, but some young men can also have prostate problems. African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer or BPH are at higher risk.
How can I check my prostate health?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located in front of the rectum and below the urinary bladder in men. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The prostate gland produces fluid that becomes part of semen.
There are several different ways that you can check your prostate health. You can do a self-exam, which involves feeling your prostate through your rectum with your finger. You can also have a digital rectal exam (DRE) performed by a doctor or nurse. A DRE allows your doctor to feel your prostate directly for any lumps or abnormalities. In addition, you can have a blood test called a PSA test, which measures levels of a substance called prostate-specific antigen in your blood. High levels of PSA may indicate an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
What are the treatments for an unhealthy prostate?
If you have an unhealthy prostate, there are a number of different treatments that your doctor may recommend. These include:
-Watchful waiting: This is when you and your doctor keep track of your symptoms and PSA levels, but don’t do any treatment. This is often recommended for older men or men who have low PSA levels and few symptoms.
-Surgery: This is usually only recommended for men who have cancerous tumors in their prostate. The surgery can be either a radical prostatectomy, which removes the entire prostate, or a partial prostatectomy, which removes only part of the gland.
-Radiation therapy: This uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be done externally, by aiming the beams at your body from outside, or internally, by placing radioactive seeds in your prostate (brachytherapy).
-Hormone therapy: This lowers the levels of testosterone in your body. Testosterone can help cancer cells grow, so lowering the hormone can slow down the growth of the tumor.
-Chemotherapy: This uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is not often used to treat prostate cancer because it can have side effects that are worse than the disease itself.
Can I prevent prostate problems?
You can’t prevent all prostate problems, but you may be able to lower your risk by doing the following:
-Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
-Eat a healthy diet. limit processed meats and foods high in sugar. include lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
-Don’t smoke. If you currently smoke, quitting can lower your risk of developing prostate problems.
-Limit or avoid alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
What research is being done on the prostate?
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut and is located just below the bladder. The prostate secretes a fluid that helps to nourish and protect sperm.
The cause of most prostate problems is unknown. However, research suggests that both genetic and hormonal factors may play a role. Age is also a risk factor for prostate problems. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, especially after age 50.
There are several different types of prostate problems, including:
-Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in men. It usually grows slowly and may not cause any symptoms for many years. Prostate cancer can be detected early with a digital rectal exam or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.
– Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): BPH is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Symptoms of BPH include urinary frequency, urgency, and hesitancy. BPH is often treated with medications or surgery.
-Prostatitis: Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that can be caused by infection or other conditions. Symptoms of prostatitis include urinary frequency, urgency, pain in the pelvic area, and pain during urination or ejaculation. Prostatitis is often treated with antibiotics or other medications.
Where can I find more information about the prostate?
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder in men. It is an important part of the male reproductive system, as it produces some of the seminal fluid that helps carry sperm during ejaculation. The prostate also helps to control urination by surrounding the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body).
While prostate cancer is a serious concern for many men, it is important to remember that not all prostate problems are cancerous. In fact, many men with an enlarged prostate (a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) never develop cancer.
There are several ways to check your prostate health. Your doctor can perform a digital rectal exam (DRE), which involves inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormal bumps or lumps on the prostate. Your doctor may also order a blood test called a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which can help detect both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions of the gland. Finally, your doctor may recommend a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), which uses sound waves to create an image of the prostate and can help detect abnormalities within the gland.
Prostate: A walnut-sized gland located in front of the rectum and below the bladder in men. The prostate produces fluid that becomes part of semen.
Prostate cancer: Cancer that begins in the prostate. While most prostate cancers grow slowly, some can spread quickly. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, behind skin cancer.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): A protein made by the prostate gland. PSA is mostly found in semen, but it is also found in small amounts in the blood. A high level of PSA may be a sign of prostate cancer or other problems with the prostate gland, such as an infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Digital rectal exam (DRE): An exam where the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for anything abnormal in the back wall of the prostate.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): An enlarged prostate. BPH is not cancer, but it can cause urinary symptoms such as hesitancy, weak stream, dribbling, and urgency.