Posted on: 22 Sep 2023
Prostate health — much like success in football — depends on key members of your team. In prostate health, the urologist is the head coach leading your health care team.
Any football fan or player knows the best offense is a good defense. Learning about your risk for prostate cancer is like learning about your opponent. The more you know, the better you can pick the best plays to stay in the game – for life.
Start by knowing your body. A prostate is a walnut-shaped gland and is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate sits under the bladder, in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body). The prostate’s main job is to help make fluid for semen to protect and energize sperm.
As you age, your prostate can become larger. It’s a normal part of aging for most men. By the time you reach age 40, your prostate may have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of a golf ball. By the time you reach 60, it might be the size of a lemon. How quickly your prostate grows depends on things that are specific to you, like your age and your genes.
The most common prostate health related problems are non-cancerous. They are an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH) or an infection or inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis). Men with urinary problems should also talk to a health care provider about their prostate health, as they could be a symptom of one of these conditions.
Health care providers use two tests to check the health of the prostate. They are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and a blood test called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A DRE is when your provider feels your prostate for anything abnormal, while the PSA is a blood test.
To learn more, check out the full Prostate Health Playbook here.
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