If you don’t know what your prostate is or what it does, you’re certainly not alone: most men don’t. But you really should. More than 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their quality of life.
The providers at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic recommend an annual prostrate screening for men over the age of 50.
If you have any questions about prostate health or to have your prostate checked contact Phoenix Family Medical Clinic at or .
- Over 50% of men in their 60s and as many as 90% in their 70s or older have symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH).
- Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die of it.
- Prostatitis is an issue for men of all ages and affects 35% of men aged 50 and older.
What is BPH?
BPH -- or benign prostatic hyperplasia -- is the medical term for an enlarged prostate. A non-cancerous disorder, an enlarged prostate is the most common prostate health problem among men.1 Half of men between the ages of 50 and 60 will develop it, and by the age of 80, about 90 percent will have experienced BPH symptoms.
It may result in a range of uncomfortable symptoms such as frequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, a weak urine stream or difficulty starting urination.
As the prostate slowly continues to enlarge, symptoms may gradually worsen, interfering with sleep, physical comfort and routine activities. In rare cases, an untreated enlarged prostate may lead to an inability to urinate, incontinence, bladder stones, kidney infections, and damage to the bladder, kidneys and urethra.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
Symptoms of BPH vary with each individual. They may include:
- Frequent, often-urgent need to urinate, especially at night
- Need to strain or push to get the urine flowing
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
- Dribbling or leaking after urination
- Weak urine stream
Because male urinary symptoms can also be caused by more serious conditions, such as prostate cancer, it's important to see your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms.
How common is BPH?
By about age 50, about half of all men have begun to develop an enlarged prostate. And by age 80, 90 percent of all men have the condition.
About the prostate
What does the prostate do?
The prostate, a male sex gland, produces the fluid for semen.
How does BPH affect urinary function?
Sitting just below the bladder, the prostate gland surrounds the upper part of the urethra (the tube that drains urine away from the bladder to the penis for excretion). As the prostate grows larger, it presses against the urethra, narrowing the passage through which urine flows. Problems with urine flow may result as the urethra narrows due to prostate enlargement.
About the Prostate
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the second leading killer of men, behind lung cancer. Prostate cancer is generally very slow growing and most men die with prostate cancer (meaning that they die of some other cause) rather than from it. Still, it kills approximately 30,000 men each year. But detected early, it can be cured. In its early stages, prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, the patient may develop symptoms that are the same as for prostatitis and/or BPH (see above). Additional symptoms include:
- Chronic pain in the hips, thighs, or lower back
- Blood in the urine or semen
The lack of early symptoms and the overlap of symptoms with non-cancerous conditions makes prostate cancer difficult to diagnose. That's why the providers at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic think it's essential that men over 50 get screened regularly.