No one would argue that a prostate exam may be uncomfortable, but it is important to know that there is a good reason for this routine exam. The prostate is a gland beneath the bladder in males which is part of the reproductive system. The urethra and vas deferens both travel through it to move long semen and urine. As you can see, it serves an important function in a man’s body, and any form of dysfunction can cause health problems and discomfort. A prostate exam is used to determine the health of the prostate so that treatment can be prescribed in cases where the prostate is not healthy.
So, what can go wrong with a prostate? Well, there are two main ailments that affect the prostate; an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. Enlarged prostates are not dangerous, per say, but they can cause some unwanted symptoms such as trouble emptying your bladder and frequency. It could also lead to more frequent urinary tract infections. Prostate cancer, on the other hand, is the main reason for a prostate exam. It is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men besides skin cancer and is very deadly, especially if left untreated for long periods of time. As with any cancer, early detection is often lifesaving. A prostate exam is not something a man should neglect.
Who Should Have a Prostate Exam?
Those that are most at risk should have regular prostate exams to check for prostate cancer and enlargement, which include those over the age of 50 and men with strong family histories of prostate cancer. If you are in need of a prostate exam, or if you just have some questions regarding a prostate exam, contact Addison Internal Medicine to seek answers or schedule an appointment at 972-301-7060.