Prostatic Diseases

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body. It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. The enlargement is usually benign, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. The enlargement of the prostate will obstruct the flow of urine causing symptoms of weak stream, hesitancy, sense of incomplete emptying, frequency, urgency and in severe cases inability to pass urine.

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate. These cells may spread (metastasize) from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, erectile dysfunction and other symptoms. Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. This cancer can only occur in men; the prostate is exclusively of the male reproductive tract. Prostate cancer is most often discovered by physical examination or by checking the blood for PSA (prostate specific antigen). Diagnosis is made by obtaining a prostatic biopsy through the transrectal route.