The prostate gland is a small, hormone producing organ that encircles the upper part of the urethra. It is only found in men, and is responsible for the creation of certain male hormones. It is vital to proper sexual functioning and to regular bladder control. The prostate gland is necessary in order to survive, reproduce and just live comfortably, making conditions that affect it of the utmost importance.
The most basic and common affliction that affects the prostate is prostate inflammation, which is otherwise known as prostatitis. Due to the prostate glands close proximity and position encircling the urethra, if the swelling of the gland becomes too great, it will restrict the ability to urinate comfortably.
Urination may become painful and in the most extreme of cases even impossible. Depending upon its severity, a swollen prostate gland can be treated with corrective surgery, certain types of antibiotics and even massage therapy. Prostatitis can often be the result of a bacterial infection as well.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is another prostate condition, though one that only affects older men. The surgery that is used to correct it is known as transurethral resection of the prostate, and a section of the prostate gland is actually removed in order to relieve the pressure on the urethra and restore proper urine flow.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy. Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include urgent feeing to urinate, weak urinary stream, frequent need to urinate and involuntary discharge of urine.
As most men age, calcified proteinaceous material can build up along the ducts of their prostate glands. These deposits are called corpora amylacea, and have the capability to block the lumens of the prostate gland and in some extreme situations contribute to cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
One condition that is particularly problematic to diagnose is definitely one of the most dangerous: prostate cancer. Many of its symptoms can be attributed to other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia or constrictive corpora amylacea buildup, making early recognition (an important factor in successful treatment) difficult. Considering that prostate cancer, when detected at an early point, has a recovery rate of ninety percent, it is easy to see why early recognition is very important in combating the disease.
Symptoms exhibited by those who are afflicted with a case of prostate cancer are difficulty starting urine flow, painful urination, loss of weight or appetite, blood in the urine and painful ejaculation. Prostate exams are simple and can be conducted in a doctors office without any need for medical equipment or urine or blood testing. Since approximately two-hundred and fifty thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, it is imperative that all men receive regular prostate exams. The importance of prostate exams increases as one ages as well.
Now that you know about the primary conditions that can affect the prostate gland, you will be better able to monitor and regulate your own prostate health. Regular prostate exams will increase your chances of detecting prostate cancer early, which is the most dangerous potential condition.