The prostate gland produces the thick, milky-white fluid that carries the millions of sperm cells during intercourse. The prostate is about the size of a walnut or a golf ball, and it is located between the bladder and the lower intestine. It surrounds part of the urethra, which is the internal tube where urine is directed from the bladder and out of the body.
Common Prostate Issues
Prostate issues can create problems with urination, and they can also impact a man’s sexual function. Prostate health is most frequently affected by three main conditions:
Known by doctors as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), this occurs when the prostate gland enlarges to an unhealthy size. This enlargement makes the prostate press against the urethra, and this can slow down or block the normal flow of urine.
The prostate normally becomes larger as a man ages, but it only becomes a problem when it is enlarged beyond normal size. About three-quarters of men over the age of 60 may experience some degree of problematic prostate enlargement.
This is a benign condition that is not cancerous. It can be treated with medications, radio waves, laser treatment, or invasive surgery, depending on the severity of the case.
Prostatitis is an inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. It’s often caused by bacteria in the urine flowing into the prostate, a urinary tract infection, or sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
It often leads to frequent, difficult, or painful urination. It can also cause difficulties with ejaculation and pain in the area of the groin behind the testicles or on the lower back. Prostatitis is usually treatable with antibiotics.
Prostate cancer is the second-most common form of cancer in men – second only to skin cancer. About one in seven American men will develop prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.
It is usually slow-growing, and it happens mostly to men over the age of 60. Its early symptoms may be similar to those of an infected or enlarged prostate, and doctors will perform several tests to confirm the presence of cancer in the gland.
These tests include measuring the levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a substance produced by the prostate that can be detected in your blood. Taking tissue samples (biopsy) of the prostate for lab study is also used to diagnose the disease.
In a large number of cases, men will survive the disease for at least 10 years. However, these cancer cells can move and spread to other organs of the body. The disease is often diagnosed in this advanced stage, and about 30,000 men die every year in the U.S. due to this form of cancer.
Experienced Urologist in Phoenix
Just like women have a significant chance of developing breast cancer, men can easily develop prostate cancer – and there are usually no symptoms until it’s too late. It’s therefore a good idea for a man to have his prostate checked every year by a skilled urologist who knows what to look for, and how to treat anything that may be discovered.
Serving Phoenix since 1994, our team at Ironwood Urology has treated men with common and uncommon conditions such as low-T (low testosterone), erectile dysfunction (ED), Peyronie’s disease, prostate cancer, and all other reproductive and urinary issues.
Dr. Desi Avila will treat you with respect and patience while maintaining confidentiality at all times. Call us today at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.