The prostate gland is specific to men and it is involved in the reproductive process. It produces a component of semen and an enlarged prostate is a signal of disease. Throughout a male’s development the prostate gland will grow through childhood and into puberty. At the onset of adulthood, it stops. Unfortunately, at middle age the prostate can then continue to grow, causing problems because of the location of the prostate.
The prostate surrounds the urethra and it can cause complications in the ability to relieve the bladder. The enlarged prostate will cause men to urinate frequently, retain urine, have a higher incidence of urinary tract infections or experience painful urination. These symptoms are what will prompt them to seek medical treatment.
Another, even more serious concern, about an enlarged prostate is its similarity to prostate cancer. This cancer is common in elderly men in developed countries. A cancer is a mass of dividing cells that continue to grow and grow, interfering and impeding organ functions depending on their location. A prostate that is getting larger might be a sign of prostate cancer. However, a patient with an enlarged prostate will not get cancer as a result. The patient can suffer from one or either condition, or both simultaneously, but neither will cause the other.
Irrespective of the symptoms, any urinary difficulties should be checked by doctor to ensure that neither condition exists. It is not the size of the prostate that matters but the location of the prostate in relation to the urethra and bladder. The treatment of this will depend on the age of the patient and the severity of the symptoms.
After consultation between the doctor and the patient they will decide on the most appropriate treatment method. Possible treatments can include lifestyle changes, medication, non-invasive procedures, herbal treatment or surgery. Making active changes to lifestyle can lower the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Decreasing fluid intake before bedtime, moderating the levels of caffeine and alcohol consumed and following a schedule for urination can be alleviating.
Medications work primarily to halt the enlargement of the gland. They will be given in tandem with medicines that help control the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Non-invasive procedures to actually reduce the size of the prostate have been pioneered by two Israeli doctors, but not all patients report success from the procedure.
Herbal remedies are debatable, with some studies reporting an impact on the condition and other studies reporting little effectiveness. Surgery is the last option and while new techniques are being continuously pioneered, there is risk involved. An enlarged prostate is a serious concern and anyone suffering from any symptoms should get checked right away.