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All you need to know about prostate issues

All you need to know about prostate issues

Prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer are the three most common problems related to the prostate gland

To ensure one’s well-being, the heart isn’t the only vital organ to keep a check on. There are a few other organs men should be aware of and certain symptoms they shouldn’t ignore.

Earlier, prostate-related ailments were largely diagnosed in men above 65 years. But over the past few years, younger people have been increasingly diagnosed with prostate issues.

The prostate gland

The prostate is no bigger than a walnut or a table tennis ball. This rubbery gland is located in front of the rectum, just below the bladder, that is, between the penis and the bladder.


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The urethra, the urinary tube that helps in discharging urine from the bladder, runs through the centre of this gland.

The prostate gland plays a pivotal role in the functioning of the male reproductive system and fertility. It secretes the fluid that helps in protecting and nourishing sperms. The gland, during ejaculation, helps in discharging fluid into the urethra and it combines with the sperm to form semen.

According to experts, globally, there are three most common prostate gland problems.

“Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and prostate cancer are the most common prostate problems. Much to the relief of patients, having prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia doesn’t increase the risk of it developing into cancer,” said Dr Javed M Vakil, a senior nephrologist at Aartham Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Ahmedabad.

There are some symptoms common for all three types of prostatic ailments, such as difficulty in passing urine, frequent urination and painful ejaculation.

Prostate Problems: Prostatitis or inflammation 

It is an inflammation of the gland, possibly due to bacterial infection and affects half of the male population at any time in their lives.


  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Frequent urge to pass urine, but passes only a small amount each time
  • Burning sensation or pain while passing urine
  • Urethral discharge with bowel movement
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Pressure/pain in the rectal region
  • Genital and rectal throbbing
  • Pain in the lower belly or groin
  • Body ache or lower back pain
  • Fever


“Prostatitis can be classified into four types, namely, asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, acute bacterial prostatitis and chronic bacterial prostatitis. All four of them are treated through medications or antibiotics. There isn’t a need for surgical intervention. Lifestyle change is one of the methods to treat it,” said Dr Vakil.

Enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP)

This is a non-cancerous disorder wherein the prostate gland becomes enlarged.


  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
  • Strong and sudden urge to pass urine
  • Sensation of bladder not having emptied
  • Slow urine passage
  • Need to push to pass urine
  • Irregular urine discharge


Depending on the severity of symptoms, only drugs may be prescribed. Surgery may be required if there is no response to medications or there is urinary retention or other complications. The surgeries, as per the condition, vary from Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) to laser or even open prostatectomy,” said Dr Keval Patel, urologist and uro-oncologist, Aayushyam Speciality Hospital, Ahmedabad.

Prostate problems: Prostate cancer

Cancer cells form in the prostate’s tissues. There is a high chance that cancer might have spread before symptoms start showing up. It is one of the leading cancers in India and is usually diagnosed in males above 60-65 years. Globally, it is the second most diagnosed cancer in men. As per a study, it is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in men.

Similar to all cancers, early detection of prostate cancer is critical. Any delay, especially, long delay will lead to it spreading to other organs. During the diagnosis stage, the doctor will suggest a physical examination and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.


  • Difficulty in passing urine.
  • Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night.
  • Burning sensation or pain while passing urine
  • Slow urine passage
  • Blood in urine
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the back, pelvis or hips


“A uro-oncologist will usually diagnose it through a physical examination and a PSA test. If required, a biopsy of the prostate will be done. And other tests like MRI and a bone scan will be performed. Depending on the stage it can be treated by surgery (radical prostatectomy), radiotherapy or hormone therapy. After the treatment, you will be advised to follow up at regular intervals (mostly three months) and tests will be performed,” said Dr Patel.

With technological advancement in medical science, robotic surgeries are increasingly becoming accessible. “Robotic surgery has become the treatment of choice for localized prostate cancer. 3D, high definition and magnified vision help identify vessels and nerves better. Flexible instruments make the surgery more precise.

“This helps reduce pain, blood loss and recovery time. More importantly, it reduces incontinence and helps in better functional recovery,” shared Dr Swati Shah, surgical oncologist, HCG Cancer Centre, Ahmedabad.


“Prostate Cancer is one of the few cancers which have a good prognosis. If detected at an early stage, most patients will get good results,” said Dr Shah.

Post-treatment, the American Cancer Society has found that five years after diagnosis, the average prostate cancer patient is to survive without the ailment. Likewise, there is a 98 per cent survival rate in the ten-year period and a 95 per cent survival in a 15-year period.

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