Lesson 3 Prostate Diseases 

  • The most important Prostate Diseases
  • The most important information about Prostate Cancer and its prevention/screening

The Prostate Gland

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of a man’s sexual organs. The prostate is wrapped around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder (the organ that holds your urine) when you urinate. In men, the urethra also carries semen, the fluid that contains sperm, out of the body during ejaculation. The prostate adds prostatic fluid to the semen when a man ejaculates, and muscles in the prostate gland contract to force the semen out of the body.

The three most common forms of prostate disease are inflammation (prostatitis),  non-cancerous enlargement (BPH), and prostate cancer

Prostatitis is a painful inflammation of the prostate gland. It is the most common disease of the prostate in men under the age of 50, but it may also occur in older men. About 8% of men will have prostatitis at some point in their lives. Prostatitis can be acute, which means that it occurs suddenly and resolves quickly with treatment. It can also be chronic, which means that it occurs more gradually, is recurring, and sometimes persists for months.

Taking antibiotics is the most commonly prescribed treatment for prostatitis. Your doctor will choose your medication based on the type of bacteria that might be causing your infection. If you have severe symptoms, you might need intravenous (IV) antibiotics.

BPH is the most common prostate disease in men over the age of 50. More than 60% of men over age 60, and more than 80% of men over the age of 80 have BPH. 

This makes it one of the most common health problems for older men.

BPH is caused by enlargement of the prostate gland to the point that it begins to compress the urethra, which slows or blocks the flow of urine. Although the enlargement of the prostate in BPH is not cancerous, it can still cause symptoms that require medical or surgical treatment.

(source: https://upmcsalvatormundi.it/)

Prostate cancer is a frequent cancer diagnosis in older men. Approximately one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some time during his life.    

Most prostate cancers are diagnosed before the development of symptoms, through spontaneous screening with the PSA test (blood test to determine the level of prostate-specific antigen) and through other tests (digital-rectal examination, prostate ultrasound, biopsy under ultrasound guidance).

The PSA test can identify prostate tumors at an early stage, even long before they are detectable by digital examination or the symptoms of the disease are present. It is also possible, however, that elevated values of this marker may depend on conditions other than the malignancy. High PSA levels may prompt you to undergo more invasive tests, which may have side effects.

For this reason, screening for prostate cancer is not recommended in the absence of symptoms, but  if you have a family history of prostate cancer (a father or brother who got the disease before the age of 65), then you can consider, together with your doctor, the possibility of undergoing screening even earlier (from the age of 45).


There is no specific primary prevention for prostate cancer, although there are some useful behavioural rules that can easily be followed in everyday life:

  • increase consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole grains
  • reduce consumption of red meat, especially if fatty or overcooked, and of foods rich in saturated fats.

It is also a good idea to keep your weight within the norm and keep fit by doing physical activity: half an hour a day, even if it is just a brisk walk, is sufficient.

Learn more about the Prostate Cancer reading the document PROSTATE FOUNDATION https://res.cloudinary.com/pcf/image/upload/v1620750872/PCF_PatientGuide_2021_m2nycu.pdf