Prostate cancer is a fairly serious blip on the male health radar as the third most common cancer in men over 70. Prostate cancer – and other prostate issues – can cause considerable discomfort, pain and even death, if they are left undiagnosed and untreated.
No man looks forward to dropping his pants for the annual check-up; but if you’re smart, you’ll bite the bullet and go anyway. Regular screenings cannot only save you a lot of pain and discomfort – they may just save your life.
What is the prostate – and why does it need to be examined?
The prostate gland is a doughnut-shaped organ that is part of the male reproductive system. A healthy prostate in a younger man is only about the size of a walnut. The prostate sits just under the bladder and is wrapped around the beginning of the urethra. It is surrounded by nerves that control erections and its primary function is to produce a liquid that enriches and protects sperm.
Unfortunately, as men get older this little organ tends to act up. At times, some of the symptoms are simply a sign of aging; however, in many cases prostate trouble is an indication of a more serious problem. Prostate cancer is a primary concern, but other prostate disorders can be just as uncomfortable and a serious concern for male health.
So if you are experiencing symptoms like difficulty or discomfort while urinating, blood in your urine or semen, or painful ejaculation, it’s important to have your prostate checked out. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, it’s still wise to be screened from time to time, as you can pre-empt and prevent problems before they crop up.
What should I expect during a prostate
A prostate screening exam can be done fairly quickly and easily. It might be a little awkward and uncomfortable, but it should be pain-free and over in just a few minutes.
The doctor will likely discuss the procedure with you before getting started. He will answer any questions you might have and he’ll make sure you understand what’s going to happen. As uncomfortable as you might be, the very best thing to do is to relax and remember it will only take a few minutes. Remember, the doctor is a professional and he very likely does prostate exams on a daily basis. Relaxing and discussing the process openly with your doctor can take a lot of the discomfort out of the procedure.
Regular screenings ensure that problems are caught quickly. Catching a prostate problem right at the start, means that it can be treated and cleared up with far less difficulty.
So men, don’t wait around till you run into trouble. A little momentary discomfort is a worthwhile trade for a long, happy, healthy life surrounded by your family and friends. Do yourself a favor and get your prostate checked out.
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