The prostate is a gland located below the bladder, near the rectum, and surrounding the urethra. It’s about the size of a walnut and is responsible for producing fluid that helps carry sperm cells during ejaculation. Over 30 million men suffer from prostate problems, and some may not even be aware of their condition. Because of its delicate location and important functions, the prostate gland is susceptible to conditions like cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostatitis.

Prostate diseases are becoming more commonplace, and many men will experience some form of issue with the gland during their lifetime. It is highly recommended that men over the age of 45 begin annual screening, as the risk for prostate conditions increases with age. Older men, African Americans, nicotine users, people with family history, and those with inherited gene mutations are at most risk for developing prostate conditions.

Prostatitis is the term that refers to an inflamed prostate gland and is most often caused by a bacterial infection. Some cases of prostatitis are “chronic” due to their persistence and are more commonly known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Chronic prostatitis is more difficult to diagnose, as it is less understood than other prostate conditions.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is hallmarked by non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. While prostate growth is common, some BPH patients may experience urethral blockage that will require medical intervention. Treatment for this condition varies from patient to patient.

Prostate cancer is characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth on or near the prostate. Like other forms of cancer, prostate cancer can either be limited to the gland itself, regionally advanced (spread to nearby tissues) or metastatic (distant spread of cancer cells). Treatment for prostate cancer depends on severity but can include radiation treatment, surgical excision, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and more.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. We highly recommend that men over the age of 45, regardless of health history and ethnicity, begin regular screening for prostate conditions. Visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institute on Aging website at www.nia.nih.gov to learn more about prostate diseases and screening options, or you may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.