It’s important to understand what’s normal — and what’s not — when it comes to your prostate. This small, golf-ball-sized gland may continue to grow as you age, so knowing signs and symptoms of prostate disorders is key to your overall health.
As men age, their prostate may continue to grow. And though common in older men, benign prostatic hyperplasia means the prostate is enlarged but not cancerous. This enlargement may restrict or block the urethra entirely, leading to urination issues.
Often, if your symptoms are manageable, your provider will recommend active surveillance or watchful waiting. This means you’ll likely have regular check-ins with your urologist and will seek treatment options if or when symptoms worsen. These treatments include:
- Medication to help shrink the prostate or relax the muscles surrounding the prostate to lessen symptoms.
- Nonsurgical heat-based treatments to reduce extra prostate tissue, including radio waves, microwaves or lasers.
- UroLift® minimally invasive procedure to lift enlarged tissue out of the way of the urethra
- Surgery to help alleviate urination issues.
Though one of the most common cancers that affect American men, prostate cancer is treatable in up to 97% of cases when caught early. Cancerous cells may form in the prostate but can spread to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer treatment will depend on your health status, family history and other factors, but options may include:
- Surgery, such as a prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate gland.
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous cells and shrink tumors.
- Hormone therapy to reduce or stop the production of testosterone.
Other prostate-related conditions may cause similar symptoms — including painful or burning urination.
- Prostatitis, or the abnormal swelling or inflammation of the prostate, may be caused by a bacterial infection or chronic pelvic pain.
- An enlarged prostate can make it difficult to pass urine and, if untreated, can lead to kidney and bladder damage.