What is in your prostate?
The abrofo-nkatie sized gland found only in men wants to be known and referred to as the prostate gland and not prostrate gland as many of us choose to call it. It has also made a strong case that it has more to it than the feared prostate cancer.
The prostate gland is lodged comfortably between the bladder and the penis and behind it is the rectum. The urethra that carries urine and semen passes through the centre of the prostate gland. Many of the problems associated with this gland start with the structures listed above that are close to it.
The prostate is not useless as some may refer to it as. It toils to secrete fluid that nourishes, protects and transports sperm.
A brief look at Prostatitis, BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and Prostate Cancer will put things in the right perspective. These three conditions share some symptoms.
This is an infection of the prostate gland and may present with
• Chills and a fever, pus-like urethral discharge
• Frequent urin ation, painful urination, pain in groin and testes
• Painful orgasms, new onset erectile dysfunction
Seek professional help. Do not self-medicate or second guess yourself.
BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA (BPH)
This condition is an increase in size of the prostate but it is not cancerous. The actual cause of this enlargement not known but male hormones may play a role.
MEN WITH BPH MAY SHOW SYMPTOMS SUCH AS:
• Frequent urination especially at night, urge incontinence ( where one may soil self if you don’t quickly urinate when you feel the urge)
• Difficulty starting to urinate (straining), poor urine stream
• Painful urination, blood in urine
• Terminal dribbling (urine continues to drip after one finishes urinating)
• May end up with not being able to pass urine (referred to in emergency rooms in Accra as sham) baa i.e. the urine won’t or can’t come). This is extremely painful and you will find men sweat, scream and do all sorts of things. In fact some have compared it to labour pains.
It is one of the commonly diagnosed cancers in men and many of these cancers are slow growing. In general it is commoner among black men and has an earlier age of onset and quite often more aggressive and lethal.
WHO IS AT RISK?
• Age; the older you are the higher the chance
• Race ; blacks at more risk
• Family History ; higher risk if a family member has had it
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS?
• Urinating frequently including at night, straining to urinate, blood in urine /semen
• Weak or interrupted urine flow
• New onset erectile dysfunction
WHEN THERE IS SPREAD
• Fatigue, unexplained weight loss, change in bowel habits
• Pin in back, hips, shoulders, thighs etc.
This will require proper history taking from the client and then an examination and tests
• Digital rectal examination, where the doctor inserts a gloved lubricated finger through your anus to feel the prostate. It often will have an irregular , hard surface if cancerous
• PSA (prostate specific antigen) may also be elevated in a few other circumstances
• Biopsy, Ultrasound Scan
• CT Scan/MRI/PET Scan
• Bone Scan
A holistic approach including watchful waiting, medication, surgery, radiation, cryotherapy. Always ask that all the options are discussed with you.
• Healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Carrots and tomatoes seem to have been discussed quite often. But variety is key. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and a few others may also be worth having in your healthy diet.
• Choose healthy foods over supplements
• Keep weight in check
• Exercise at least five days a week
Do remember to go the extra mile and share the information. The prostate too needs support!!!
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise. He is the author of the award-winning book, ‘Unravelling The Essentials of Health & Wealth.’
Thought for the week – “This year, World Heart Day (29th September) aims to encourage people to look after themselves, others, and nature as well. Putting in coordinated efforts to improve one’s own lifestyle and diet and motivating others to do the same can lead to a reduced number of people with heart and blood vessel disease.”
I look forward to interacting with you at The La Palm Royal Beach Hotel Corporate Healthy Lifestyle Programme on Saturday 30th September 2023 at 6am.
Let’s walk, exercise, network and share ideas that will keep us healthy.
By Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel