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(5) Prostate Disorder

What diseases can affect the prostate gland?

Three diseases can affect the prostate gland: prostatitis, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and prostate cancer. Prostatitis is an inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. It can affect adult men of any age and is usually treated with antibiotics. The symptoms of prostatitis are variable but often include burning and increased frequency of urination.

BPH is the most common benign disease of males. The onset of benign growth or enlargement of the prostate starts in young adulthood and continues throughout a man’s lifetime. As a rough estimate, if you take a man’s chronological age in years, that percentage of men at that age will have signs and symptoms of BPH. For example, in a group of 75-year-olds, about three quarters of them will have evidence of BPH.

The symptoms of an enlarged prostate include a decrease in the urinary stream, frequent need for urination, and getting up often at night to urinate.

Cancer of the prostate is the most common male cancer. A male infant born today has about a one in eight chance of developing prostate cancer in his lifetime. This year about 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and about 35,000 men will die from prostate cancer.

Most cases of prostate cancer do not present with symptoms but are diagnosed by a rectal exam, a blood test known as prostate-specific antigen (PSA), or a combination of the two.

Terms:

Prostatitis - an inflammation or infection of the prostate gland.

Benign prostatic - hypertrophy a benign enlargement of the prostate.

Prostate cancer - the most common male cancer, involving a malignant tumor growth in the prostate gland.

 

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