Next time you see your father, your
uncle, or any older gentleman over age 60 or so, ask them about their prostate. If you know the guy well enough,
and he feels comfortable enough around you (some would say too comfortable), he will surely share a whole litany
of the common prostate problems that are troubling him, or have troubled him, or will trouble him in the near
future. That's because an enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and even prostate cancer can be in
the cards for every man past a certain age.
It's the scary but true fact of getting
old as a man. For instance, every man should know that prostate cancer is one of the most common prostate
problems out there. It tops the list of cancers that afflict men, happening in nearly as many men, roughly
speaking, as breast cancer in women. Prostate cancer doesn't get the press that breast cancer does, however,
probably because most men would rather not speak about what's happening down there.
The second thing most men don't, but
should know is exactly what that prostate is. A prostate is actually part of a man's sexual organs. Located just
below the bladder in a man, wrapped around the urethra, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. Its main job
in the birds-and-bees scheme of things is to add fluid to your sperm during ejaculation.
And most of the time, men don't even
realize they have a prostate because it's a hidden internal organ, but all men find out quickly what and where
their prostate is when they suffer a common prostate problem.
For instance, all men should know that
prostate issues aren't just for older men. Men under 50 can get prostatitis, or an extremely painful infection
of their prostate. This is a swelling of the prostate that can cause fever, a burning sensation during
urination, and fatigue.
And all men over 50 should be aware of
their number one most common prostate problem, which is an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
This benign, or nonfatal condition, is actually far more common in older men than prostate cancer, which should
give some relief to older men when they know it.
Men should all be aware of the symptoms
of benign prostatic hypertrophy, such as leaking and dribbling during urination, a weak urine stream, trouble
getting started with urination, and even small amounts of blood in the urine.
And though benign prostatic hypertrophy
is more common than prostate cancer, men should be aware that the two can go hand in hand. It's not always the
case, and many men with an enlarged prostate will never develop into cancer. But it's good to keep your eyes out
for both, because they can have similar symptoms.