Men suffer from prostate enlargement and other problems when they reach their middle age, this makes many of them worry as they approach 50.
While it is not all prostate enlargement or problems that result in cancer, it is important for men to recognize the symptoms and seek medical care early. Dr Isiaka Olayinka Lawal, a consultant Urologist with the National Hospital, Abuja said if prostate enlargement was diagnosed early, it could be cured.
Dr Lawal said there are three different kinds of enlargement that affect men. They are: the ordinary enlargement medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); enlargement with infection call prostatitis; and enlargement with cancer which is called prostate cancer.
“The severe one among the three is prostate cancer. It is like treating cancer in any part of the body. The one with infection can be treated with antibiotics; the one with ordinary enlargement (BPH) can be treated with drugs or if the drug is not effective, surgery can be done to remove it,” he said.
Dr Lawal said one would begin to notice anomaly in his urine pattern when there was prostate enlargement.
He said: “The anomaly varies from individual to individual. First, urine frequency increases both day and night. Most people in the night pass urine if there is no disease condition but with prostate enlargement, the person urinates three to four times in the night. During the day urine comes every one or two hours. The power of the stream of urine also reduces.”
The medical expert said one would also observe incomplete emptying, that is there is the urge to urinate but small amount comes out. He said there is also urgency, that is some people have the urge to urinate but cannot hold it for long.
He said another symptom is incontinence that is, the person has the urge but before getting to the toilet he urinates on his body. “Others are blood in the urine, painful urination, painful ejaculation, and pain in back, hips, thighs, pelvis and/or rectum,” he said.
The medical expert advised that every man in his middle age should go for a type of blood test, Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test once a year because it was one of the earliest detectors of prostate cancer.
“The best way to tackle it is to detect it early .When you do it and it begins to rise, the person will be referred to a urologist who will examine the patient, and do another scan on the prostate depending on his finding. He could also do a biopsy to confirm whether there is cancer and treatment will commence,” said Dr Lawal.
He said ordinary enlargement could be managed with drugs to increase the flow. If it is so big that the response from the drug is not adequate, there may be a need for surgical intervention. There is advancement in the surgery for prostate unlike in the past, he added.
Dr Ahmed Hassan, a Consultant Urologist with the Saudi German Hospital, Dubai (SGHD) also advised Nigerian men over the age of 40 years to go for prostate screening in order to protect themselves from prostate diseases.
The urologist said usually men above 50 years were advised to go for early screening of the prostates, but that Nigerian men and other Africa men over 40 years were often advised to go for the screening because of their high level of the hormone, testosterone.
“African men are sexually active due to their high testosterone level. Testosterone is very important for prostate cancer. We advise every man over 40 years to go for early screening of the prostrate through these three investigations: ultrasound, to measure the size of the prostate, rectal investigation, and Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.”
He said it was also very important, for men who have relatives suffering from or who have suffered from cancer of the prostate or other prostate diseases to go for early screening.