Many men aren’t sure what their prostate is, what it does, or when to call a doctor if they think they might have a problem. So, information is the best tool you have in dealing with this aspect of men’s health.
The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. A healthy prostate is about the shape and size of a walnut. It rests below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra and it helps make some of the fluid in semen.
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 might have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot. By the time you reach 60, it might be the size of a lemon.
Because it surrounds part of the urethra, the enlarged prostate can squeeze that tube. This causes problems when you try to urinate. Typically, you won’t see these problems until you’re 50 or older, but they can start earlier. You might hear a doctor or nurse call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short. It is not cancerous.
If you’re a man older than 40 and have not yet had a prostate exam, it’s a good time to talk to your doctor. If you’re also African American or have a family history of prostate cancer, it’s a really good time.
Prostate cancer is one of the five most common cancers in the world. Don’t let common myths stop you from getting the life-saving screening tests you need, when you need them.
There’s no guarantee that a man will never develop prostate cancer. But, we’ve found some tips you can use to improve your overall health … including the health of your prostate.