What is my Prostate?

Man burnout

“Doctor, I don’t even know what prostate is and you telling me to get it checked?”

When it comes to speaking to male patients about the prostate, three questions are always asked:

  1. What is the prostate?
  2. Where is my prostate ?
  3. Do you really have to examine my back passage?

These questions usually come in quick succession, this to me highlight that despite government health campaigns and promotions, there is still a degree of mystery surrounding prostate awareness programmes.

Therefore let me dispel the mystery by answering the questions about the prostate and the important facts men and women should know.

The prostate gland is only found in men and lies beneath the bladder. It secretes a fluid with the primary role to nourish and protect sperm. Due to the prostate location it can be felt and only examined by placing a finger into the back passage. This is done to assess the size and shape of the prostate.

Understandably most men dislike the idea of any examination to do with the back passage. Some have expressed the thought of it “is embarrassing and undignified” which I think could partially explain why males generally present late to visiting a doctor. But urinary symptoms and rectal bleeding are important symptoms where a rectal examination does have a role to play. However it is your choice whether you choose to allow any examination or not.

Due to its location near the bladder, symptoms for a prostatic problems usually present with a change in urinary function. For example:

  • Poor flow of urine – Weaker stream of urine flow which can stop and start.
  • Poor emptying – Feeling of not quite emptying your bladder.
  • Frequency – Passing urine more often than normal.
  • Urgency – Feeling you have to rush to get to the toilet quicker.
  • Hesitancy – Having to wait a while before urine can flow at the toilet.
  • Dribbling – Small amounts of urine keeps tricking out.

Please be aware that some of these symptoms can also be related to other disorders which are not related to the prostate. This is why it is vitally important to check with a health professional or doctor soon as possible.

The saying “ignorance is bliss” does hold quite strong belief and assurance to some individuals but I would like to say that there is no point in burying one’s head in the sand when symptoms like above are present. When caught early and diagnosed quickly, prostate disorders are much easily treated with a greater degree of success and less impact on day to day life.

The reason for so much emphasis on the prostate is to watch for prostate cancer. This recently has been highlighted in the news following a revelation from Stephen Fry about suffering from this condition. For instance prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in males in the UK. Unfortunately it’s incidence is also increasing. Ethnically, prostate cancer is also more common in black males which makes it extremely important for this group to be aware off. The silver lining is a blood test can be arranged by your Dr called PSA( Prostate Specific Antigen). This test can be used to further aid in diagnosis and the progression of prostate cancer.

At WAFFL we agree with the principle that prevention is always better than cure. This is why we strive not only to help with providing clear, concise information from fitness plans and regimens but also factual knowledge that helps people know what symptoms and signs to look for regarding disease.

Because exercise is not only about feeding the body but feeding the mind as well.

Dr Anthony Egboh

by Dr Anthony Egboh, WAFFL Doctor

Dr Anthony Egboh (MBBS, BSc, AICSM, MRCGP) is a London-born General Practitioner (GP) with interests in Health and Well-being for families.

At WAFFL he brings his medical insight and expertise to the team. He is a firm believer in striving for better health – ensuring that fitness is a lifestyle choice, not just a part-time habit.