The prostate gland is a walnut-sized organ that sits at the base of the bladder in men. About 1 in 4 men over the age of 55 have prostate problems. When there are problems with the prostate, such as in Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) or prostate cancer, it can cause lower urinary tract symptoms – weak flow, frequency, getting up to urinate at night, and the feeling that the bladder can’t fully empty.
If you have urinary symptoms, your doctor may organise some tests for you, which may include a blood test for Prostate Specific Antigen, if indicated.
Prostate Cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in men. If you experience any of the following prostate problems, please see your Doctor for a check-up:
- Feeling the frequent or sudden urge to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
- Discomfort when urinating
- Blood in your urine or semen
- Pain in lower back, upper thighs or hips
How is prostate cancer detected and diagnosed?
One of the most important markers for prostate health is noting any change in urinary symptoms as discussed above. However, if you have additional concerns your Doctor may also perform an examination of the prostate, arrange a blood test and /or an ultrasound to check the health of your prostate.
Some men choose to engage in regular PSA testing as a form of prostate cancer screening. Whilst this is not routinely recommended for all men, it is worth a conversation with your GP to decide if you would like to have this kind of testing done. Consider some of the pros and cons of testing in the article here.
Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Your treatment will depend on the type of prostate problem you have and your individual circumstances. For BPH, the treatment may include medications to shrink the size of the prostate or surgery to remove part of the prostate known as a Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or sometimes known as a ‘rebore operation’.
Similar for prostate cancer the treatment will depend on your age, as well as the results of a prostate biopsy known as a Transrectal Ultrasound guided Biopsy or ‘TRUS biopsy’.
In some circumstances it is deemed appropriate to have no treatment at all and to engage in ‘watchful waiting’ which involves monitoring the prostate cancer to ensure it is now growing rapidly.
Your GP will usually refer you to a specialist in prostate cancer to help you determine the best treatment.