Q: What is the Prostate gland?
A: The Prostate Gland is a small male organ located at the neck of the bladder of every man.
Q: What does the Prostate gland do?
A: The Prostate gland produces a fluid which forms a part of the semen.
Q: How does the Prostate gland cause disease?
A: The Prostate gland gets bigger as a man gets older, just like we grow grey hair. As it gets bigger, it may block the passage from the bladder and cause difficulty to pass urine.
Q: What is Prostate Cancer?
A: Prostate cancer occurs when the growth of the Prostate gland is uncontrollable. This kind of growth can also spread to other parts of the body and can cause death.
Q: What causes Prostate Cancer?
A: No definite cause has been found for Prostate cancer, but it can occur in older men and in those whose relations have had Prostate cancer in the past, and also in some of those who have had operations for prostate gland in the past.
Q: Can Prostate cancer be cured?
A: Yes. Prostate cancer can be cured if it is detected early enough by your doctor.
Q: What can I look out for to be sure that if I have Prostate cancer it can be detected early?
A: You should see your doctor to complain if you have any of these symptoms:
Waking up several times during the night to urinate.
Having more difficulty in postponing the urge to pass urine.
Having a greater urge to pass urine.
Having a weak flow of urine.
Having difficulty starting urination.
Having difficulty controlling the starts and stops of urine stream.
Having a sense that you need to urinate immediately after you just urinated, or a sense that your bladder does not empty.
Losing urine (Dribbling) after you have urinated.
Recent onset of low back pain.
Seeing blood in your urine.
Q: Does having these symptoms mean that I have Prostate Cancer?
A: No. The Prostate gland may enlarge without having cancer, and your doctor, (preferably a Urologist) will be able to tell you after he has done some tests of your prostate gland.
Q: Supposing I do not have these symptoms, does that mean that I may not have Prostate cancer?
A: No. If you are a man and over the age of 50 years, you should present yourself to the Urologist (a doctor that knows about prostate problems) at least once in a year to examine your Prostate gland and do a blood test that can detect if you may have Prostate cancer when you do not have any symptoms.
Q: How is Prostate cancer treated?
A: Prostate cancer can be treated by an operation, or by the use of drugs or by radiotherapy.
Q: Which of these methods of treatment is the best?
A: The urologist will discuss these options with you and advise which of them is most suitable for you.
Diagram of the male genitalia.
Issued as a public service from the Urology Division, Department of Surgery, University College Hospital, P.M.B. 5116, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Produced by Dr. Olayiwola B. Shittu