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Urological

THE PROSTATE 

The prostate is a muscular, walnut-sized gland that surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that transports urine and sperm out of the body.

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It secretes seminal fluid, a milky substance that combines with sperm produced in the testicles to form semen.  The muscles in the prostate push semen through the urethra and out of the penis during sexual climax. 

The prostate is located directly beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. Because the upper portion of the urethra passes through the prostate, if the gland becomes enlarged it can obstruct the passage of fluid through the urethra. 

PROSTATE DISEASE

There are three types of prostate disease. Although these diseases have different causes, they share many of the same symptoms. Because of these similarities, it is important to be screened for prostate cancer as part of your yearly physical examination. 

The most common screening test is called the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test. For this test, a small amount of blood is drawn from your arm and analyzed for PSA. The substance is naturally produced in your prostate gland to help liquefy semen. But a small amount of it circulates through your bloodstream. If higher than normal levels of PSA are detected in your blood or if levels rise over time, it could indicate prostate inflammation, prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. 

You should see a physician if you experience symptoms of any of the following diseases. 

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia 

As men age, a large number of them begin to experience problems with urination-frequent trips to the bathroom, particularly annoying at night, an increased urgency to urinate even during the day, the inability to fully empty the bladder, and, perhaps, even posturinary dribbling. What most men do not understand is that these inconveniences are often attributable to the benign enlargement of the prostate gland that rests at the base of the bladder and surrounds the urethra. As the prostate enlarges, it puts pressure on the urethra, constricting that essential outlet for urine. 

This enlargement, technically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that affects approximately half of all men before the age of 50 and 80 percent of men over age 60. BPH should not be confused with prostate cancer, a distinct affliction that every man should discuss with his doctor. BPH is simply the enlargement of the prostate gland due to cellular multiplication. This is a benign event (i.e., not a malignant or cancerous growth). 

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Approximately 180,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men. 

In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause urinary symptoms. As it progresses, prostate cancer can cause the following symptoms: a need to urinate frequently, especially at night; difficulty starting urination; inability to urinate; weak or interrupted flow of urine; painful or burning urination; painful ejaculation; blood in urine or semen; and pain in the back, hips or extremities. 

When detected in its early stages, prostate cancer can be effectively treated. In more than 60 percent of men, prostate cancer is discovered before it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. When this type of cancer is found and treated early, the five-year survival rate is greater than 90 percent. Early detection is vital to protecting yourself. 

Prostatitis 

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that can be caused by bacterial infection. This condition affects men of all ages and can occur in any prostate, regardless of size. Some of the symptoms of prostatitis are similar to those caused by an enlarged prostate and include the frequent urge to urinate and difficulty urinating. Prostatitis may be accompanied by chills and fever and by pain or burning during urination. 

KEEPING YOUR PROSTATE HEALTHY

Here are some tips for keeping the prostate healthy and delaying or preventing diseases.

Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources. Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day; eat other foods from plant sources, such as breads, cereals, grain products, rice, pasta, or beans.
Consumption of high fat diets and meat, especially red meat, has been associated with increased cancer risk at several sites, most notably colon and prostate.
Be physically active: achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity can help protect against some cancers. Obesity can lead to increased risk for several cancers including prostate.
Both physical activity and controlled caloric intake are necessary to achieve or to maintain a healthy body weight.
Natural Support  

Historically, specific vitamins and minerals have been used to preserve and protect the health and function of the prostate. Nutrients like zinc, a mineral that is absolutely essential for a healthy prostate, selenium, lycopene, vitamins C, D, E and certain B vitamins have all been shown to help maintain a healthy prostate.  

For over 20 years, doctors in Europe have been using certain natural substances that have been shown in medical studies to not only improve the symptoms of the prostate enlargement, but to actually reverse the process and shrink the prostate gland.  

These natural substances include saw palmetto, pygeum africanum and stinging nettles. Clinical study results for these natural substances have been very impressive. 

For example, many studies have shown that saw palmetto decreases the size of the prostate in over 60% of patients. pygeum africanum was even more successful - over 70% of the participants in the study experienced a reduction in prostate size.  

Improve your diet, exercise and consider taking a supplement with key prostate healthy nutrients.

Note: All information on this website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for a specific medical condition. Please consult your physician if you have questions or concerns regarding your health.
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