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Prostate Health Primer

Prostate Health Primer

Madeline Kwan
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What’s the size of a walnut but can grow to the size of an apple and is only found in men?

 

If you’re not too sure of the answer to the riddle, the answer is, the prostate. A survey conducted by Prostate Cancer UK found that 70 percent of men aged 45 and above knew nothing about prostate nor do they know about symptoms of prostate cancer.

 

How well do you know about the prostate? If you’re in the dark about the prostate and prostate related diseases, read on to learn more about this important gland we shed the light on prostate health.

 

Knowing Your Prostate

The prostate is a small gland found only among men. It is part of the male reproductive system and is located below the pelvis, in front of the rectum. The prostate also surrounds a section of the urethra which is a tube that carries urine from the bladder and to be excreted through the penis.

 

The role of the prostate is to produce semen. Semen is a type of fluid (which looks milky) that carries sperms and is ejaculated through a man’s penis.

 

The prostate is generally about the size of a walnut. However, as a man matures, his prostate too tends to grow and it can develop up to the size of an apple. It is a natural process and there is no way to minimise its effects as it is written in the genes. The growth of the prostate might cause a man to experience symptoms which could affect their quality of life.

 

It’s Called BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The enlargement of the prostate can lead to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and it’s a condition which affect men over the age of 50. However, the cause of BPH remains unknown till today. Though not a serious threat to a man’s health, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) can cause symptoms which may lead to discomfort or a lower quality of life. The good news is, these symptoms are highly treatable.

 

Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Experiencing difficulties to start urinating
  • The flow of urine is weakened
  • Causes you to wake up in the middle of the night to urine frequently
  • Causes you to strain when passing urine

 

If your doctor suspects that you may be living with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), you will be asked to complete a questionnaire known as the International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS). It contains simple questions which will help to evaluate your quality of life due to urinary symptoms.

 

Besides a questionnaire, a simple physical medical examination will be conducted which can include an ultrasound and a painless rectal examination. The rectal examination is a quick and painless procedure for a medical expert to examination the prostate gland. These examinations will help the doctor diagnose accordingly – if your symptoms are due to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer.

 

Treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

If you’ve been diagnosed with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), you may not need treatment but follow-up visits with your doctor is essential. However, if needed, oral medication may be prescribed and the last form of treatment option would be surgery.

 

There are two types of surgery which are open surgery and minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. The latter is now the more popular choice among patients. Due to medical advancements,

 

Trans Urethral Recessional Prostate (TURP) is the main form of endoscopic surgery. Trans Urethral Recessional Prostate (TURP) has become so advanced now that the technology used creates a good channel for urine to flow and this is done by vaporizing prostate tissue. It is extremely safe and causes minimal bleeding. Besides TURP, there are also other types of endoscopic procedures.

 

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) And The Elderly

As for the elderly or patients with several medical complications and may not be a suitable candidate for surgery, a Mammokath prostatic stent may be an option to help relieve Trans Urethral Recessional Prostate (TURP) symptoms. The stent is inserted when the patient is under local anesthesia and is extremely safe. A word of cation though, this stent is not suitable for the younger patients with Trans Urethral Recessional Prostate (TURP) as the stent itself has a lifespan.

 

Prostate health is essential and it should not be disregarded. Therefore, for men who are 50 and above, it’s well worth to get their prostate screened. Screening involves basic examination and test of your prostate after which your doctor will advise accordingly. If you are a male patient and you have urinary tract symptoms, pay a visit to your local doctor. Early prostate disease can be detected and treatment can be started.

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Madeline Kwan
Madeline Kwan

Madeline graduated with honours in Bachelor of Science Dietetics with Nutrition and is now pursuing the Master Of Science (Health Sciences) course. Currently working as clinical dietitian in a private health institution in Singapore, Madeline shares her passion for nutrition & diet education, repoductive health and general fitness tips by in her articles for YesMyWellness.com. She is also involved in a number of community projects, which includes travelling to rural areas in South East Asia conducting talks, workshops, health checks.

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