Prostate gland (prostate)

SCREENING PROTECTS!

The prostate (prostate gland) is one of the male sex organs. Its name derives from the Latin word „pro-stare”, which means „to stand before”.

This small, chestnut-shaped gland weighs 20-25 grams and is made up of approx. 30-50 individual glands. This gland produces the necessary secretion to allow the male sperm produced in the testes to move. The spermatic duct and the urethra come together in the prostate.

With increasing age, the prostate grows larger in many men. Since it surrounds the urethra, it can cause problems with urination, depending on the direction in which the prostate gland expands. Every second man over the age of 50 has problems with urination.

Most cases of prostate enlargement are benign. Nevertheless, prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death in men in Germany. Each year, 65,000 men in Germany develop prostate cancer. The risk of contracting this disease increases with age. Obesity and smoking also favour the development of prostate cancer.

Symptoms such as an increased urge to urinate, nocturnal urination, involuntary emission of urine, dribbling of urine, pain during urination, potency disorders, blood in the urine and also back pain can be indications of a disease of the prostate gland. However, there are no typical symptoms that can be used at an early stage to clearly diagnose prostate cancer. The tumour usually grows slowly. It is therefore particularly important, starting at the age of 45, to have regular (annual) medical screening examinations.

Simple pain-free palpation of the prostate gland with a digital-rectal examination gives the doctor a first indication as to whether there are enlargements, hardening or nodules.

There are also laboratory examinations for early detection:

  • The PSA value (Prostate Specific Antigen) is determined using a prostate-specific test for which a blood sample is taken. The PSA is a protein formed by the cells of the prostate and that can be found in increased quantities in the blood under certain conditions. A normal PSA value does not rule out prostate cancer with one hundred percent certainty. An increased PSA value may be an indication of prostate cancer, but also of an inflammation of the prostate gland. This test provides very good diagnostic information. If the PSA values measured in the laboratory checks are doubled, then further diagnostics should also be carried out.
  • Determining the „Prostate Health Index” as a marker for the early detection of prostate cancer when total PSA values are between 2 and 10 ng/ml.
  • The activity of prostatic acid phosphatase increases when there is prostate cancer.
  • Determining general inflammation parameters like CRP (C-reactive protein) and white blood leukocytes (white blood count).

The normal PSA value should be less than 4 ng/ml .

RECOMMENDED LABORATORY TESTS

  • PSA
  • Prostate Health Index
  • Inflammation parameters (C-reactive protein and partial blood count)
  • Prostatic acid phosphatase

Do you have any questions? We will be glad to advise you.

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