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Male Prostate

Prostate problems affect a large number of men. Conditions can range from an acute infection or inflammation called prostatitis that often afflicts younger men under age 50, to enlargement or benign hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer seen in men over 50. Enlargement or benign prostatic hypertrophy is far more common than is prostate cancer. Even so, according to the National Cancer Institute web site there have been 234,460 new cases of prostate cancer in the US in 2006.

Prostatitis is an inflammation within the prostate gland. "Prostatitis" means that the prostate is inflamed; it could be swollen, red, and warm. If you have prostatitis, you may have a burning feeling when you urinate, or you may have to urinate more often. Or you may have a fever or just feel tired. Prostatitis can be caused by a bacterial infection, but most often it is a non-bacterial prostatitis. This can be caused by other urinary tract problems. The doctor will work with you to discover the cause of the inflammation. Since there are no bacteria, an antibiotic is ineffective but there are natural therapies that can help to reduce the pain and inflammation.

If you are over 50 and have started having problems urinating, the reason could be an enlarged prostate, or BPH. As men get older, their prostate may keep growing. As it grows, it squeezes the urethra. Since urine travels from the bladder through the urethra, the pressure from the enlarged prostate may affect bladder control. Symptoms included trouble initiating urine flow, slow urine flow, pain or burning with urination, frequent urge to urinate, and leaking or dribbling of urine. There are herbal agents available that help the body limit the prostate growth as well as prevent urinary tract infections. Having routine screenings can detect this problem early, and early treatment can prevent the need for surgery in the future.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting elderly men in developed countries and a major cause of death. Men over age 35 should have a yearly PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test as well as a prostate exam. This is done with a digital rectal exam (DRE). The DRE is the best way to detect and diagnosis all of the prostate conditions discussed above. Remember that early detection is the key to successful management of these common prostate problems

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