As we get older, we seem to hear more and more about our prostate and its subsequent health.
In fact, all the attention around it—usually negative—is enough to make us kind of annoyed by the little hidden gland deep within us. It’s apparently always in peril of getting too big, or spouting killer cancer cells, and to top it off, it’s the number one cause of awkward doctor visits.
With all the noise around what could potentially go wrong with our prostate health, it’s easy to see how a lot of misinformation, or myths, even, can get passed around. How can you know what you truly should be fearful of? More than that, what exactly does the damn thing even do? Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know; that’s why we’re here.
Let’s first talk about what our prostate does for us—and make no mistake, it’s an essential job.
The short story is that the prostate gland is responsible for producing the fluid our sperm needs in order to survive on its journey to fertilize the egg. That’s right, semen doesn’t all originate in the testicles. Up to 30% of ejaculate comes from the prostate, with the majority of the rest being provided by the seminal vesicles.
Now that we’ve gotten to know our little friend a bit more, let’s dispel some of the “fake news” about him.
Myth 1: An Enlarged Prostate Means There’s Something Wrong
This myth is a generalization, but has some truth to it.
Importantly, men who have prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)–a type of enlargement of the prostate–may experience erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory problems.
The prostate is simply an organ inside of us. Naturally, as we age and grow, it does as well. In fact, it will typically keep growing up into our 70s and 80s. Since there’s no real “off switch”—it all depends on your body’s DNA programming.
This isn’t to say you won’t experience the effects of your growing bundle of joy however. After all, it’s located not-so-conveniently at the base of the bladder, enveloping your urethra. It’s easy to imagine that even benign growth can result in discomfort, manifesting in urination hesitancy, a weak stream, and dribbling.
Whether or not the size of your prostate is worrisome comes down to your doctor’s professional opinion; so yes, those awkward regular visits still need to be followed. Still, there’s peace of mind in knowing that a growing prostate is more or less inevitable and doesn’t automatically mean you’re doomed.
Of course, this also doesn’t mean it’s something to be ignored. A consultation with a men’s clinic is a must to help avoid potential resulting issues like bladder stones, UTIs, or urine retention, but medicinal drugs for these may not be necessary soon.
Myth 2: Prostate Cancer Brings Obvious Symptoms
Another major concern when it comes to our prostate health is the C-word. Staying on top of detection must become a priority as we age, as neglecting to do so can have dire consequences. The question of course is, “How?”
There is a pervading belief that prostate cancer will manifest in certain symptoms that we’ll be able to catch and discuss with our doctor. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, most of the symptoms associated with prostate cancer, like:
- Bloody Urine
- Urination Problems
- Back Pain
These often only occur after the cancer has metastasized or spread. This is when things have already reached the “Serious” level.
However, a majority of prostate cancer cases can be caught prior to experiencing these symptoms through blood tests which will measure your PSA levels. Elevated prostate-specific antigen levels can serve as an early warning sign of cancer, and their detection can give you a potential head start in the fight to come.
Similar to the first myth however, your PSA levels will typically increase as you age as a result of your growing prostate. Your physician will be able to best advise you on what your number should look like based on your age and medical history.
Myth 3: Prostate Cancer Is a Death Sentence
Perhaps one of our prostate’s most maddening habits is it’s apparent knack for generating cancerous cells which inevitably lead to untimely demise. This sentiment mostly stems from the ‘80s and ‘90s when it was widely believed that any and all prostate cancer needed to be eradicated—decades which aren’t that far removed from many men’s minds, making it seem as though it’s still gospel.
Today, we now know that like most things, prostate health exists on a spectrum; ranging between low risk, medium risk, and high risk. When it comes to the low-risk side of the equation, most doctors now just advise you to live with it.
Sure, they’ll want to keep an eye on things and make sure it doesn’t turn into something more serious, but prostate treatment can come with its own set of complications, including erectile dysfunction. Additionally, surgery and radiation are serious undertakings that require a lot of time and expense, which is why they’re reserved for more serious cases. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, you can likely live through and with it.
What about more serious forms though? What if the decision was made to take care of the cancer and it returns? Many still believe the term “recurrent” should be spoken of in the same sentence as a funeral service recommendation. Again though, modern medicine has made it possible in many cases that the cancer can be re-treated through radiation or surgery in order to finish it off.
That said, it should be obvious that continued visits to your doctor for blood tests are necessary even after treatment. Those who have their cancer taken care of once and go about their merry way are the ones who are at much higher risk of being taken out permanently than those who are conscious of their risk.
Request a Consultation from Tampa’s Trusted Men’s Medical Clinic
At Prestige Men’s Medical Center, we take your sexual and overall health seriously.
As one of Tampa’s experts in men’s sexual health, we specialize in treating premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and low testosterone.
If you’re experiencing ED problems that may be due to prostate health, you deserve great sex again. Our team is here to help you achieve that goal. Contact us today to set your consultation appointment.