The three most common prostate problems are inflammation (prostatitis), enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostate cancer.
We understand that men struggling with prostate symptoms, such as urinary incontinence, may find it hard to access the support they need. So we’ve put together a handy guide to all things prostate so you can feel empowered to put your prostate health first.
What is your prostate?
The prostate is a small gland, just below the bladder in front of the rectum in men. This gland helps to make semen and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the body.
It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause several health issues.
What conditions can affect your prostate?
This more commonly affects men under the age of 50 and is inflammation (swelling and pain) in the prostate gland. Chronic prostatitis is the most common type of prostatitis and is also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Although we do not treat prostate cancer at Benenden Hospital, we can help you to receive a diagnosis and help you to manage any post-cancer side effects.
BPH or benign prostate enlargement is an extremely common problem in men over the age of 50 and affects many men over 60. As a prostate enlarges, it can block the bladder and slow the flow or urine in men.
What are the symptoms of prostate issues?
The symptoms of prostate issues depend on the severity of your condition, but below are a few of the most common:
- Frequently needing to urinate
- A weakened stream of urine
- Leaking urine or dribbling urine
- Urge to rush to the toilet but not being able to urinate when there
- Getting up at night to use the toilet
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
If you’ve received treatment for prostate cancer such as radiotherapy, you may experience some of the most common side effects, such as urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction, which we can help you with.
Why have I got pain in my pelvis?
If you’re struggling with prostatitis - inflammation (swelling) of the prostate gland - you may experience pain varying in severity around your groin, genitals or pelvic area. Pain in your pelvis should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible.
You may not notice symptoms of prostate cancer in the early stages, as they usually appear when the prostate enlarges. Although we don’t treat cancer at our hospital, we do offer blood tests, physical examinations of your prostate, MRI scans and biopsies to begin your diagnostic journey.
Our Consultant Urological Surgeon, Mr Steve Garnett, explains:
"Men can start to worry about prostate cancer if they have an increased need to urinate, if they strain while urinating or feel that their bladder hasn't fully emptied after each visit to the toilet. These symptoms should not be ignored, but they don't mean that someone definitely has prostate cancer. It's more likely that they are caused by something else, such as benign prostate enlargement which can be treated at Benenden Hospital."
If you’re concerned about prostate cancer, it’s important you book an appointment to see your GP. Asking for a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test if you’re over 50, is a good place to start, as it measures the level of PSA and can detect early prostate cancer.
Who is most likely to suffer from prostate symptoms?
If you’ve been under lots of emotional stress, you’ve had nerve damage in your lower urinary tract or you’ve had a UTI (a urinary tract infection), you may be more likely to develop prostatitis.
If you’re over the age of 40, have health conditions such as obesity, heart disease or type 2 diabetes, have a family history of prostate problems or don’t do much physical activity, you may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate.
How are prostate issues like an enlarged prostate diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, you should contact your GP about a further assessment or request to see an expert Urologist at our hospital. Once approved, you'll have a full assessment to check on your prostate size and urinary flow rate. The results will indicate whether you’re suitable for treatment here.
Assessments for prostate problems are straightforward and can easily be performed at Benenden Hospital in the Outpatient department.
What are the treatment options for prostate problems?
We offer a range of treatment options for prostate problems. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, our Urologists will either prescribe you with drugs or you may be required to have a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
The three procedures listed below are for BPH, although it’s important to note that we do also offer management of post-prostate cancer and prostatitis.
- Trans-urethral resection of prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of an enlarged prostate gland
- Aquablation® is minimally invasive robotic-assisted treatment for enlarged prostate
- UroLift® is a low-risk day case procedure
Put your prostate health first
To find out more or to book, complete our online enquiry form or contact our Private Patient Team by phone on 01580 363158 or via Livechat.
Published on 22 September 2023