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The prostate is the gland that produces semen (fluid which contains sperm). In young men, it is about the size of a walnut and it slowly grows with age. It surrounds the urethra (tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) and can cause urinary flow problems if it becomes too large. The older a man gets, the more likely he his to have problems with his prostate.

Common problems associated with the prostate:


1)         Prostatitis
a) Accounts for 25% of office visits
b) Affects men of all ages
c) 5%-10%  caused by bacterial infection
d) The most common type is a chronic, nonbacterial prostatitis which accounts for 90% of cases

2)         Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
a) Enlarged Prostate
b) No cure
c) Occurs in almost all men as they age
d) Not cancer

3)         Prostate Cancer
a) Silent disease (usually no symptoms until very involved)
b) > 180,000 cases are diagnosed yearly
c) Nearly 30,000 males die from prostate cancer each year
d) Second leading cause of death in men
c) Blacks in the US have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world (1 in every 9 males)
d) Obesity is a risk factor for prostate cancer


Symptoms associated with prostate disease:

1)        Trouble getting urine to start

2)        Trouble getting urine to stop (dribbling)

3)        Often feeling the need to urinate (especially at night)

4)        Weak urinary stream

5)        Pelvic pain

6)        Sensation that bladder is still full after urinating

7)        Pain or burning sensation when urinating or ejaculating

8)        Blood in the urine or semen


1)        Low-fat, high-fiber foods, or foods with omega-3 fatty acids
a) Tomatoes
b) Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
c) Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
d) Soy products
e) Walnuts and flaxseed

2)        Relax while using the bathroom

3)        Spread your fluid intake throughout the day

4)        Antibiotics for infection/inflammation

5)        American Cancer Society yearly recommendations for men ≥ 50 years old:
a) PSA (prostate-specific antigen – blood test)
b) DRE (digital rectal examination)
c) Earlier testing at age 45 years old for following high-risk group
                i.       Blacks
                ii.       Men with family history of prostate cancer

Resource: 2011 Ferri’s Clinical Advisor