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The prostate is a male reproductive gland, associated with sperm production. It is situated below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. 
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut; as men age the gland becomes enlarged a disease known as benign prostatic hyperthropy (BPH). 

The enlargement causes narrowing of the urethra affecting the flow of urine.

BPH, unlike cancer is not malignant.

The test for diagnosing BPH is the same as for cancer of the prostate, but the levels are only slightly elevated. The test is called prostate specific antigen (PSA).


Because of  the location of the prostate glands, the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperthropy are related to urination, they are:
  • Dribbling 
  • Difficulty starting 
  • Urge to urinate frequently
  • Incontinence
  • Weak urine stream
  • Waking frequently at night to urinate  

Men experiencing these symptoms should contact a health professional to rule out prostate disease.

Most cases of mild benign prostatic hyperthropy do not require treatment. 

More severe cases can be treated with medication to improve or relieve the symptoms.
When medication is not effective and surgery is not necessary there are procedures to remove prostate tissue, the aim is to reduce the size of the gland. 

These procedures may be microwaves to destroy the tissue, radio frequency energy to burn the enlarged portion or focused laser energy to remove excess tissue.
Surgical treatment may involve:
  1. Insertion of a scope through the penis to remove the enlarged portion
  2. Making small cuts in the neck of the bladder to widen the urethra.
  3. Abdominal surgery to remove the enlarged portion  
The author is a consumer health educator, she graduated from nursing school in the Uk and did post graduate studies in Toronto, Canada.