June is Men's Health Month. Considering the fact that half of the U.S. population is comprised of men (49.8%, to be exact), it's important that we take the time to address prostate health. It's estimated that one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime; other than skin cancer, it is the most common type of cancer in men. Educating yourself on healthy living tips and the problems that may result from prostate issues can ensure that you can continue to maintain a high quality of life.
Understanding The Risks
The prostate plays a major role in your reproductive system and urinary system. Most men will encounter at least one of the three main prostate diseases during their lives.
- Prostate Cancer: The clinical term for a cancerous growth on the prostate gland is "Adenocarcinoma." If immediate action is not taken, prostate cancer can quickly spread to the interior of the gland and nearby tissues; it can even make its way to the lungs, liver, and bones.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): BPH is an enlargement of the prostate, which puts pressure on the urethra, eventually causing the bladder to weaken and can block the flow of urine. This can result in urinary retention, other bladder problems, and problems in the kidneys and urinary tract.
- Prostatitis: Prostatitis describes the inflammation of the prostate, and is generally caused by an infection. It frequently affects men under 50, and around half of all adult men will experience it during their lives.
If you are experiencing blockage or discomfort, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Complications And Frustrations
Suffering from any illness can put a damper on your day-to-day affairs, but prostate diseases are particularly disruptive. They often affect sexual performance, bladder function, and can cause pain and discomfort, which can make many men feel frustrated and ashamed. Whether you're embarrassed because of your ED or because you're dependent on intermittent catheters, at the end of the day, your health needs to take precedence over both of those feelings. You can take control of the situation by accepting it, and by speaking openly with your doctor about your concerns.
In some ways, prostate problems are a normal result of aging or can be due to your family history. However, engaging in a healthy lifestyle and managing your risk factors, such as family history, obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases, can help keep your prostate healthy. The best way to ensure you don't have to deal with the fallout of poor prostate health is to get your prostate checked out every year. Additionally, going to regular doctor appointments and talking to your doctor about any problems or concerns can help improve or prevent many conditions. Early detection and knowing your risks is essential in preventing and managing prostate problems. The trip to the doctor may not be especially enjoyable, but it will help you stay on top of any potential problems so they can be nipped in the bud as soon as they arise.