Located around the seminal canal and urethra, the prostate plays a role in the secretion and storage of seminal fluid. Its role is to produce a translucent liquid and is intended to promote sperm survival as they progress through vaginal acidity. Although it is not usually talked about in the first part of a man's life, it naturally begins to grow around the age of 45. This is normal, but can cause urinary or erectile problems in about 20% of cases.
Symptoms and diseases
Over time, several diseases can affect the prostate gland. Among the most common are prostate cancer (although half are harmless), adenoma (abnormal volume gain, common in older men) and prostatitis (equivalent to cystitis in women).
Prostate cancer develops from a normal cell, which transforms and multiplies in an uncontrolled way, forming a mass called a tumour. With 65,000 new cases per year in France, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, ahead of lung cancer. With increasing life expectancy, the risk of a man reporting prostate cancer in his lifetime is increasing. On the other hand, the death rate is declining, thanks in particular to improved care and early diagnosis : get involved for human health!
Adenoma (an abnormal volume that can interfere with ejaculation, very common in older men) is a benign tumour that sooner or later causes discomfort in the organ or body. The procedure required to remove it is adenomectomy.
Acute prostatitis is an inflammation of microbial origin. More rarely, it affects about 1% of men during their lifetime, ranging from simple urinary burns to severe inflammation. The appearance of a febrile urinary tract infection in a man must absolutely suggest acute prostatitis and involve urgent antibiotic treatment.
Consultation as an essential element
It is essential to consult a urologist when the first disorders appear. Several steps will be required to identify the problem: a rectal examination to palpate the prostate and detect changes, an MRI to detect 90% of tumours and a blood test to determine the level of PSA, a substance secreted by the prostate. The fact that you do not feel any symptoms does not exempt you from this check-up, which is recommended when you are approaching your fifties.
Beneficial reflexes to reduce cancer risk
To reduce the risk of cancer, a few daily reflexes should be taken into account.
- Watch your weight: fat is a tissue that promotes the secretion of estrogen (hormones that stimulate prostate cancer).
- Limit animal fats (red meat, butter, cheese, sausages) in favour of white meat: a diet high in fat increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Moderate your consumption of dairy products: calcium is also thought to be a growth factor for prostate cancer.
- On the other hand, do not hesitate to eat fish rich in omega 3 (salmon, herring, sardines): omega 3s tend to activate the genes associated with immune defences, while blocking the growth mechanisms of tumours. Their health benefits are, in any case, widely recognized.
- Eat fruits and vegetables! It is an undeniable fact that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables plays a role in preventing cancer.
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