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  • The Prostate - What is it?
  • The prostate gland is found in the pelvis in males. It is the size of a chestnut in earlier life and becomes larger in adulthood. The prostate gland is located below the bladder, behind the pubic bone and in front of the rectum.

    The urethra (through which urine passes from the bladder when men urinate) penetrates the prostate at the gland’s base (which is actually on the top, towards the head, sitting under the bladder), and emerges at the apex (at the bottom of the prostate towards the feet).

    The prostate gland produces most components of semen and forms part of the sphincter mechanism (“valve”) essential for maintaining continence.

    It is amazing how many problems such a tiny organ can cause!

    A cancer arises when cells stop growing in an organized and controlled manner. Without proper control cells grow rapidly, eventually forming a tumour. This is a common occurrence in the prostates of older men.

    There are however, three common disorders of the prostate. All can have similar symptoms, which may include one or more of the following:

    • Waking frequently at night to urinate
    • Sudden or urgent need to urinate
    • Difficulty in starting to urinate
    • Weak or interrupted urine flow
    • Slow flow of urine and difficulty in stopping
    • Frequent pains in the lower back, hips and upper thighs
    • Blood in the urine or semen
    • Decrease in libido (sex urge)
    • Reduced ability to get an erection
    • Inability to urinate
    • Pain when urinating
    • Discomfort when urinating
    • Painful ejaculation

    These symptoms can also be caused by less serious conditions, such as a non-cancerous enlarged prostate or kidney infections.

    Most men tend to accept the onset of one or more of these symptoms as being a natural consequence of ageing. However, anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms is advised to consult a doctor without delay. Early expert diagnosis and treatment is important and may avert potentially serious health consequences.

  • Risk Factors for Prostate Illness
  • These include family history, age, overweight men and racial group. Man whose brother had a prostate cancer have 4.5 times higher risk of prostate cancer and 2.5 times higher if his father had a prostate cancer. Prostate cancer usually appears after 50 years of age and it is a result of abnormal and uncontrolled growth of a cells. More than 65 percent of prostate patients are 65 years old or older.

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