What are some common prostate problems

Prostate: 5 symptoms of a sick prostate

Problems with the prostate (prostate gland) are usually not a malignant change, but an examination is definitely advisable if men have certain symptoms. This is the only way to detect benign ulcers or prostate cancer early and prevent unpleasant symptoms.

Doctors differentiate between benign and malignant prostate diseases: benign include inflammation (prostatitis) and prostate enlargement, while prostate cancer is a malignant disease.

The prostate is one of the sex organs in men. It lies below the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate weighs about 20 grams and is the size of a chestnut - about three inches long and four inches wide. The gland produces a secretion that is released into the urethra during ejaculation and mixes with the sperm. It makes up about 30 percent of the seminal fluid and ensures better sperm mobility.

Discomfort when urinating

The prostate surrounds the urethra. If the gland enlarges, it presses on the tube and the man has problems urinating. Often the bladder cannot empty itself properly. This affects almost every second man over the age of 50. Frequent urination and the so-called "dripping" are typical side effects. A less powerful urine stream and nocturnal urge to urinate are also indications of an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

This shows an enlarged prostate. (Source: Dr_Microbe / Getty Images)

If men notice these signs, they should see a urologist. With the right therapy, the symptoms improve considerably and bladder stones or kidney damage can also be prevented. Enlargement of the prostate is benign - but the side effects are particularly disturbing.

Nevertheless, it is important to clarify the causes of the prostate problems, because other diseases can also be behind them. These include, for example, urinary tract infections or tumors.

Blood in the urine or semen

Other warning signs include blood in your urine or blood in your semen. Even then, a doctor (urologist) should definitely be consulted who will make a diagnosis. There may be a harmless cause behind it, but it can also be an indication of a malignant prostate carcinoma. According to the German Cancer Society, every sixth man over 50 develops prostate cancer.

In the early stages, those affected do not notice anything. Symptoms only occur when the tumor has grown so large that it spreads to the urethra or when daughter tumors have formed outside the prostate. In addition to blood in the urine and semen, symptoms include pain during ejaculation and pain in the prostate. Those affected often report pain in the lower back, hip and pelvis.

Incontinence: When the bladder weakens

Bladder weakness and involuntary loss of urine can have different causes. This can appear as an independent disease, but it can also be a symptom of another disease, such as an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. In rare cases, however, incontinence is a sign of a tumor. Bladder weakness is much more likely to accompany cancer treatment.

Potency disorder: the prostate can be behind it

If impotence occurs or the erection is less pronounced, the prostate can also be to blame. In most cases, prostate enlargement is the cause, but in some cases prostate cancer is also the trigger.

Painful ejaculation and less semen and erectile dysfunction are often the result. This is because the prostate swells inside too. This narrows the excretory ducts of the seminal fluid and there is less sperm during orgasm. Pain occurs when the prostate becomes inflamed. Then it hurts when secretions are expelled.

Elevated PSA levels: evidence of prostate cancer?

The doctor can do a blood test to determine your PSA level. The so-called prostate-specific antigen is a protein that is produced by the prostate. If the PSA value is increased, this can be an indication of a benign or malignant change in the prostate, but it can also indicate an inflammation. If necessary, further investigations will then be initiated.

What are the typical symptoms of prostate cancer? At first, prostate cancer does not cause any symptoms. Symptoms only appear when the primary tumor has already exceeded a certain size or metastases have formed. According to the German Cancer Aid, men shouldn't delay a visit to the doctor for the following five warning signs: pain in the prostate, impaired urination, problems with bowel movement, blood in the urine and "sciatica" pain.

Don't be afraid of the prostate check-up

A urologist should not only be asked for advice with the typical warning signs such as urination problems, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Early detection is important so that changes can be recognized at an early stage. The cost of cancer screening is covered by the statutory health insurance from the age of 45. The examination proceeds as follows: After the first interview, the physical examination follows. The doctor palpates the abdomen, groin, penis, and testicles to identify any changes. For the rectal palpation examination, the urologist carefully inserts his index finger into the rectum so that he can feel the prostate. After about 30 seconds, however, the procedure, which many men found uncomfortable, is over.

Prostate cancer: not every tumor needs an operation

As reported by the German Society for Urology (DGU), 17 out of 100 men over the age of 50 develop prostate cancer. Three of them die from it. However, since the carcinoma usually grows slowly and does not form metastases (daughter tumors) until late, the chances are good that the cancer will be detected in the course of the early detection examinations before it becomes life-threatening. Many tumors can even be observed for many years without actually having to undergo surgery. However, if prostate cancer is not detected early and regularly examined, the chances of a cure worsen. Once it has spread, it is no longer curable.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.