Men’s Guide to Prostate Changes, Part 1: Introduction


Based on the “Understanding Prostate Changes: A Health Guide for Men page of the National Cancer Institute website


Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert



This article discusses many prostate-related topics, ranging from the basics (what it is) to information about prostate changes that happen with age (common changes, how they are treated, and what one needs to know about testing for prostate changes, including cancer). Since negative changes become more likely the older we get, this information is especially relevant for senior citizens. (The article is broken up into five segments. This is part 1.) --Dr. Don Rose


Introduction to the Prostate

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small gland, part of the male reproductive system, about the size and shape of a walnut. It sits low in the pelvis, below the bladder and just in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the bladder.

How does the prostate change as you get older?

Since the prostate surrounds the tube (urethra) that passes urine, this can be a source of problems as a man ages because:

·                 The prostate tends to grow bigger with age and may squeeze the urethra, or

·                 A tumor can make the prostate bigger.

These changes, or an infection, can cause problems passing urine. Sometimes men in their 30s and 40s may begin to have these urinary symptoms and need medical attention. For others, symptoms aren't noticed until much later in life.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any urinary symptoms – for example, if you:

          Are passing urine more during the day

          Have an urgent need to pass urine

          Have less urine flow

          Feel burning when you pass urine

          Need to get up many times during the night to pass urine.

What prostate changes should you be aware of?

Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems. The three most common prostate problems are:

·                 Infection (prostatitis)

·                 Enlarged prostate ( BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia)

·                 Prostate cancer.

One change does not lead to another. For example, having prostatitis or an enlarged prostate does not raise your chance of prostate cancer. It is also possible for you to have more than one condition at the same time.


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This article is based on the webpage “Understanding Prostate Changes: A Health Guide for Men -- part of the National Cancer Institute website. The information provided here is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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