Although prostate problems often affect middle-aged men and men in their senior years, problems with the prostate gland can actually affect men of any age. Among the most common prostate problems are prostatitis, prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Early detection of these symptoms is the most important factor in working to cure any of these ailments.
The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra and is located in the male reproductive system. Its primary function is to produce the fluid that is present in semen. Sometimes this gland becomes infected, which can lead to such prostate problems as irritation or inflammation, otherwise known as prostatitis. Prostatitis may be acute or chronic.
Acute prostatitis begins suddenly and presents symptoms such as lower back pain, pain in the groin area, fever and chills. A man with acute prostatitis may also experience painful urination. When properly treated with antibiotics, symptoms of acute prostatitis subside as the infection heals.
Chronic prostatitis, on the other hand, is the result of a recurring infection. Chronic prostatitis is often hard to treat with antibiotics and may, therefore, require multiple treatment efforts. Both acute and chronic forms of prostatitis are among the prostate problems most likely to affect younger men.
While most prostate problems do not lead to cancer, prostate cancer is still a fairly common, but treatable form of cancer. At its earliest development, prostate cancer may be present without any identifiable symptoms. Eventually, symptoms such as frequent urination, blood in the urine and pain during ejaculation may be realized. Cancer is among the most severe prostate problems, but if detected and treated before being allowed to spread to other organs, most men fully recovery from prostate cancer.
An enlarged but non-cancerous prostate gland is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is one of the most common prostate problems affecting men over the age of 50. Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia often experience urinary symptoms, such as frequent urination, especially at night, as well as difficulty urinating or leaking urine after urination. Symptoms may be treated with medication or surgery.
Prostate problems are sometimes preventable by consuming a diet high in plant-based foods and drinking a lot of water. However, the cause of prostate cancer is not yet known and, therefore, not so easily avoided. Routine examinations, particularly for men over the age of 50 and men who have a family history of prostate cancer, as well as paying close attention to possible symptoms, are the best ways to prevent prostate cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.