Prostatitis and Prostate Cancer and the Effects They Can Have On Urinary Incontinence In Men

Published: 14th May 2010
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Prostate cancer has been reported as being the second leading cause of death in men who live in the United States; only taking a back seat to lung cancer which is the number one killer of men in this country for men. Men between the ages of seventy and eighty-five have a ninety percent chance of having some type of prostate problem(s). Prostate cancer has an estimated price tag that exceeds 10 billion dollars annually, and with the increase of longer lives and the large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age; it is believed that the number of men having some sort of prostate problem will see an exponential surge in the next ten years.

Prostate cancer is a disease that occurs when the prostate gland has tumors within it that are malignant. The prostate gland is located at the base or bottleneck of the bladder; it is in fact attached to the base of the bladder. The prostate gland is about the size of a chestnut or walnut. Although it is not a part of the male urinary system, nevertheless it can and often does play a very important role in the functioning, or better still, the lack of proper functioning of the urinary system. The urethra is a duct or tube that is attached to the base of the bladder also, it actually runs through the prostate gland that is located at the base or bottleneck of the bladder. The urethra begins at the bladder's base and runs through the prostate and it runs through the male sexual organ where it unloads the urine out of the body. The urethra is also a conduit where the semen passes through to help transport the spermatozoa to the female sexual organ.

Once inside the female sexual organ the spermatozoa will attempt to fertilize the female eggs. However, there is one gigantic problem here: the female sexual organ is a very acidic environ and the spermatozoa cannot and will not survive under such unfavorable conditions. To the rescue comes the prostate gland which plays a life and death role in the reproductive system. The prostate produces and secretes a viscid substance that is ejected into the urethra at the time of discharge of the spermatozoa, and this viscid like fluid is anti-acidic, meaning; it can survive in a highly acidic place such as the female sexual organ. This prostate emission mixes with the semen which acts as a transporter of the spermatozoa and enables the spermatozoa to remain a live within the female sexual organ for hours. This process ensures that the spermatozoa will have a real good opportunity to fertilize the female eggs.

That is why the prostate gland is so important in its role in the reproductive system. No other gland or organ duplicates what it does, only the prostate gland secretes this viscid fluid that is so critical to the reproduction of life. Men in their mid forties and younger are said to be in their prime of their life where with most, family building take place; however, if the prostate becomes severely diseased or has swollen to the point it must be surgically removed or a prostatectomy is done, it would render the patient infertile--permanently. But for older men in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, prostate removal is not an issue in the sense that older men usually don't have any intentions of starting a new family (reproducing) or adding to the existing one they already have. So removal of the prostate usually does not present a dilemma when viewing the problem from that perspective, for the most part it's just not an issue.

Generally speaking the prostate gland does not pose a problem for men in their forties, but they are advised to begin annual exams, mostly digital, to determine if their prostate is showing signs of growth or not. Even with most men in their fifties prostate enlargement to the point of having a prostatectomy is unusual, although it happens often enough to keep men on guard or on notice that there is a real possibility that their prostate could become enlarged or diseased to the point that it warrants removal.

Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland, in many cases it can be traced back to bacterial infections, but not in all cases. There are two types of prostatitis: (1) acute prostatitis and (2) chronic prostatitis. Acute prostatitis usually occurs very quickly, and it can involve more organs than just the prostate. It can be caused by bacteria, but the root cause could very well be indicative of another urinary system organ; much is still unknown about it. More times than not it is treatable and in many cases it is treated internally with antibiotics but not always. Prostatitis is not known to be related to prostate cancer in any way, and in practically all cases surgery is not required.

Chronic prostatitis is a condition that slowly grows without a lot of fanfare, however, unlike acute prostatitis it is most commonly relegated to the prostate and prostate only. The causes can be from bacteria and it could be from other causes which may or may not be known to pathologists at this time. Chronic prostatitis can be successfully treated for the most part and surgery is rarely needed--if at all. Prostatitis in many cases comes from bacteria that have invaded the urinary tract. Bacteria like Escherichia coli or e coli can enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin infecting different organs, glands, as well as the whole urinary system. There are many different types of bacteria that have the capacity to enter the urinary tract and contaminate it. The whole urinary system can come under attack from aggressive bacteria that have invaded the body.

The prostate gland like every other plant and animal is composed of cells; many, many cells that live within the prostate. These cells are pre programmed to die at a particular time, this is referred to as apoptosis, however, some of the cells defy that order and become rogue cells--if you will, and continue to live when they should die. When a group of these abnormal or defective cells begin to congregate or form a colony they become a tumor, the tumor can be benign or in the worst case scenario it can become malignant or cancerous. If the tumor is benign it really doesn't pose an immediate threat or problem and can be left alone and just put under ' watchful observance'. Tumors that are malignant are cancerous and therefore they must be removed before they begin to metastasize (spread) throughout the body. Once it has been determined that the tumor within the prostate is in fact malignant, an operation to remove it must be arranged and performed as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading any further. This kind of surgery is known as a prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate gland.

During a prostatectomy it is possible and in a number of cases does happen where other organs can be unintentionally damaged, for instance, it's not uncommon during a prostatectomy that the sphincter muscle becomes damaged. Whether it's referred to as collateral damage or unintentional damage the fact is that while one problem is being solved another problem now exists. That is why in some cases a second or even a third surgery is needed to correct incidental occurrences that can happen while a prostatectomy is being done.

An inflamed prostate can have a negative effect on the urinary system. It is capable of spreading the infection throughout the urinary system. An infected prostate can spread damaging bacteria to the urethra, bladder, ureter tubes, and kidneys if the bacteria aren't successfully treated before it is allowed to do wide spread damaged. This fact helps solidify the point that men must establish a good relationship with their primary care giver and/or urologist to better catch problems early enough before irreversible damage is done. As men grow older and live longer it is incumbent upon us to be as watchful and observant of our own health problems and seek out medical attention before it is too late.

Even if it's just a mild case of prostatitis or full blown prostate cancer the impact on the urinary system in men could be compromised greatly. Bacteria could be the underlining cause behind prostatitis, then again, it could be something totally unrelated to bacteria. However, it is a well known fact that bacteria like Escherichia coli or e coli can enter the urinary tract through the urethra becoming the source behind a urinary tract infection. And a diseased prostate can spread cancerous cells throughout the urinary tract and the whole body as well and attack it with a vengeance.

In conclusion, the best defense against prostatitis, prostate cancer, and urinary tract infections is to present an effective offense; an offensive that includes staying in close contact with your doctor(s) and following regimens that are conducive to staying strong and healthy with each passing day. It's never too early for men forty years of age and older to begin to focus on healthy living to help avoid prostate cancer and all the trauma that goes a long with it. Remember, you are the captain of your own ship and it's up to you to sail the high seas safely. I wish each and every one of you guys nothing less than the best. Happy retirement fellows.

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