The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
Here are some examples of non-cancer prostate problems:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH
Is very common in older men. It means your prostate is enlarged but not cancerous. Treatments for BPH include:
- Watchful waiting, also called active surveillance. If your symptoms are not too bad, your doctor may tell you to wait to see if they get worse before starting treatment. Your doctor will tell you how often to return for check-ups.
- Medications. Medicines can help shrink the prostate or relax muscles near your prostate to ease symptoms.
- Surgery. If nothing else has worked, your doctor may suggest surgery to help urine flow.
- Other treatments. Sometimes radio waves, microwaves, or lasers are used to treat urinary problems caused by BPH. These methods use different kinds of heat to reduce extra prostate tissue.
Acute bacterial prostatitis
Usually starts suddenly from a bacterial infection. See your doctor right away if you have fever, chills, or pain in addition to prostate symptoms. Most cases can be cured with antibiotics. You also may need medication to help with pain or discomfort.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis
Is an infection that comes back again and again. This rare problem can be hard to treat. Sometimes, taking antibiotics for a long time may work. Talk with your doctor about other things you can do to help you feel better.
Also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome, is a common prostate problem. It can cause pain in the lower back, in the groin, or at the tip of the penis. Treatment may require a combination of medicines, surgery, and lifestyle changes.
Prostate cancer your chance of getting prostate cancer may be affected by your:
- Age. Men age 50 and older run a greater risk.
- Family history. If your father or brother had prostate cancer, you are more likely to develop it, too.
- Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.