Let's be honest: Men often do not want to talk about some things, and this includes the health of the Why do not I write this column not only to men, but also to women, so that they are aware of the problems men are facing in their lives and may encourage them to seek medical help.

The prostate is walnut-sized gland, which is part of the male reproductive system and sits under the bladder. Prostate enlargement is a common men disease face as they get older. An enlarged prostate causes unpleasant urinary symptoms, such as bladder urine flow and bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems.

Common symptoms include more or less urgency, increased frequency of nocturnal bathing, difficulty urinating and a weak stream of urine, or a current that starts and stops. The symptoms worsen over time. Anyone with these symptoms should discuss it with their doctor. If left untreated, an enlarged prostate can cause a sudden urination, cause urinary tract infections and bladder or kidney damage.

A doctor diagnoses an enlarged prostate by performing a digital rectal exam to check the size of the prostate a urine sample to rule out an infection that can cause similar health problems and perform a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Produced by the prostate, PSA levels increase when someone has an enlarged prostate, although elevated levels can be caused by infection, recent surgery or prostate cancer.

When a patient has an enlarged prostate, medication is usually the first treatment option. Various medications either relieve the bladder neck muscles and muscle fibers in the prostate or reduce the size of the prostate. If a patient has severe symptoms or medication does not work, minimally invasive surgical options are available

Prostate cancer is a major health problem for men in addition to an enlarged prostate. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. The cancer usually grows slowly and confines itself to the prostate, but some species can be aggressive and spread to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer symptoms are similar to an enlarged prostate, including decreased strength in the flow of urine or urinary problems. Other symptoms include seminal blood, pelvic pain, bone pain and erectile dysfunction. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.

The risk of prostate cancer increases with age and there is also a genetic link. Let your doctor know if you have prostate cancer in the family and / or breast cancer. African American men are at a higher risk of suffering from an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Screening tests for prostate cancer include the PSA test and the digital rectal exam. If the results are positive, an ultrasound can be scheduled to give the doctor a closer look at the prostate.

When a man has prostate cancer, several treatments are available, including surgery or radiation. Hormone therapy, which lowers testosterone levels, is another option for men with advanced cancer to shrink or slow down the growth of tumors.

Please note that depending on the size and location of the cancer, no treatment may be necessary. If this is the case, there will be regular blood tests and rectal examinations to monitor the progression of the cancer. If these tests show that the cancer is increasing, surgery or radiotherapy may be recommended.

As men get older, prostate health becomes a bigger problem. It is vital that men report health changes, for example, that they go to the bathroom more frequently or notice a change in their urine flow to their healthcare provider. These are not fun symptoms, but there are treatment options.

And for the women out there: If your husband complains about any of these symptoms, please encourage him to see a doctor. Whether their problems are caused by an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, they must be addressed before they become too serious.

Dr. Andrew Maes is a urologist at ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin.

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