A Healthy Idyllwild: Prostate care

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Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult you own healthcare provider for any questions or issues concerning you own health status.

Some info below taken from:

www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/understanding-prostate-changes

www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/

www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/pdf/prostate_health_tips.pdf

Gentlemen, please do not neglect your prostates.  Know the symptoms of problems and get your regular checkups. True enough, at least one check for prostate health is a cause for grimacing. But we all get prodded and poked by our favorite health-care providers, regardless of gender. So, buck up.

Here’s something to cheer you. An alternative meaning found on the Internet: “Pokémon, n.: A Rastafarian proctologist.”

What is the prostate?

A gland in the male reproductive system just below the bladder surrounding the tube (urethra) that empties the bladder through which one urinates; it produces a fluid that forms part of semen.

What is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)?

A benign (non-cancerous) condition in which an over-growth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine.

What is prostate cancer?

Cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate gland, usually occurring in older men, may be slow-growing and localized. Nevertheless, this cancer can spread. Only 3 percent of American men die of this cancer. Note: Not all medical groups agree on cancer screening recommendations. See websites listed above.

Your prostate naturally changes by enlarging with age; this in itself is not a health problem. Most changes are not cancerous. You may have an infection/inflammation or an enlarged prostate known as BPH. Both of these conditions, and prostate cancer, cause symptoms in the flow of urine.

So, if you notice these symptoms, you should consult your health-care provider: passing urine more often during day or night, feeing an urgency to urinate, less flow of urine or a burning feeling. Remember, most changes are not cancer.

Even though only 16 percent of American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and only 3 percent of American men die of it, a cancer diagnosis is a major life event for most folks.

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer and need to begin the decision-making process about what to do next, you and your family may wish to request information from your provider regarding the nature of your prostate cancer, what are the available approaches for managing the condition, and what are the benefits and harms of these approaches, including their likelihood of occurrence, as well as the likelihood of recurrence of the cancer itself.

Perhaps ask about complementary/alternative medicine options. (For instance, acupuncture has been shown to be very effective in controlling nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy).

Don’t forget to discuss how the various options might affect your quality of life. This is increasingly important to us as we age, with some of us opting out of certain treatment choices because of debilitating side effects.

Whatever management course you select, your overall care management goals with your family and health-care team might include achieving a well-organized process with an evidence-based protocol of periodic testing, adding in timely decision-making about any future treatment.

One more: “Rectitude, n.: The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.”

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.

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  1. Until American men look at male body parts in an adult manner, nothing will change in very much the same manner as colonoscopies.

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