Prostate in Men & Women?!
Prostate is a gland that is found in the male reproductive system. It is responsible for the production of the semen that carries sperms. This gland is located just beneath the bladder, surrounding the upper section of the urethra. Prostate cancer has become a major health concern for men around the world. In the recent years, statistics have revealed that there has been an increase in the number of patients being diagnosed with prostate cancer. But do women have prostates?
According to gynecologists, there are certain glands known as the skene’s glands that are found in women at the lower end of their urethra. These glands have similar structural features as the male prostate. However, they are much smaller, and their main role includes producing a fluid that lubricates the opening of the urethra. The skene’s glands also have antimicrobial properties that prevent infections from attacking the urinary tract.
– Types of prostate Cancer:
There are several types of prostate cancer. Most of these types are usually adenocarcinomas. Other types include small cell carcinomas, sarcomas, transitional cell carcinomas and neuroendocrine tumors. However, most of these types are rare and grow at different rate. There have been several cases where people have died without them or their doctor knowing that they had prostate cancer. The main cause of prostate cancer has not been established yet. However, most people above the age of 50 are usually at a higher risk of developing the condition. Also, the condition has been reported to be more common in men of African descent or African-Caribbean.
Studies have also shown that those in a family with a history of the condition have an increased risk of developing it in their later years. Other factors that can increase the chances of developing this condition include lifestyle and diet. There has been evidence showing that the environment and lifestyle of an individual can have a direct impact on their overall health. Their diet can also increase their chances of developing prostate cancer. For instance, people who eat a lot of food with high fat content or processed food have been proven to be at a higher risk.
– Symptoms that women should look for:
There are several cancer symptoms that women should look for to identify prostate cancer at an early stage. One of the most common symptoms is breast changes and lumps. Other include scaling and redness of the nipple and breast skin, nipple discharge, nipples turning inwards and skin puckering or dimpling. Constant bloating can also be a symptom of ovarian cancer. You should see a doctor especially when the bloating happens with bleeding or weight loss. The doctor should carry out a blood test as well as pelvic exam to determine the problem.
Women should also be concerned when they experience between-period bleeding. There are many health problems that can result in bleeding between the usual monthly cycles, including endometrial cancer. Women who still bleed after menopause should also be checked by a doctor. Other symptoms include pain when urinating, pain in the lower back, need to urinate, burning and stinging when urinating, erectile dysfunction, throbbing sensations in the genital and rectal area, fever and chills as well as urethra discharge.
– Common Prostate Cancer Tests
There are several ways of diagnosing prostate cancer. Health practitioners and agencies have reviewed various sexual and health histories of their patients, testing their blood and urine samples. Some of the most common tests include:
- Prostate massage. By massaging your prostate glands, the doctor drains the fluid into your urethra. The fluid is then checked for infections or inflammation, under a microscope. This test is often done during a digital rectal exam (DRE).
- Digital Rectal Exam. This test requires a health practitioner to insert a gloved finger into the patient’s rectum checking the section of the prostate located next to the rectum. This test is normally carried out to check for tenderness or swelling.
- Urine culture. This test involves collecting urine and prostatic fluid samples. The samples are then checked for bacteria and white blood cells.
- Cystoscopy. This test involves putting a thin and flexible tube as well as a viewing device into the urethra. The viewing devices help the health care provider to inspect the urinary tract and the bladder, looking for blockages or structure changes.
- Semen culture. In this test, semen samples are collected from the patient, and tested for white blood cells and bacteria.
There are several factors that a health care provider must consider to determine the best form of treatment. Most treatments are usually based on age, health history, overall health, patient’s preference and opinion, how sick a patient is, as well as how well the patient handles specific therapies, procedures or medication. In addition to these aspects, a health practitioner can also recommend a particular form of treatment depending on the type of Prostatitis a patient has. Some of the most common Prostatitis types include:
- Chronic Prostatitis
This type of Prostatitis is often treated by use of antibiotics or medicines that help to relax the bladder and prostate muscles. Patients can also take medicine for easing pain and red. Patients can also have prostate massage to assist in releasing the fluid causing pressure in their prostate. Another treatment for this type of Prostatitis is using heat from a heating pad or hot baths to ease discomfort. It is the most common non-bacterial type of Prostatitis that is also referred to as prostatodynia, chronic pelvic pain syndrome or nonbacterial Prostatitis.
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
Patients diagnosed with this condition are required to take antibiotics for a period of about 4 to 12 weeks. This condition can develop to a stage where you can not empty your bladder. At this stage, the most effective form of treatment is surgery, to remove the unwanted part of the prostate. This condition is less severe and develops gradually.
- Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
This type of Prostatitis also requires patients to take antibiotics for 2 to 4 weeks. They must ensure that they complete the full dosage of the antibiotics so as to prevent the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The doctor can also prescribe pain killers and advice the patient to drink plenty of water. Severe cases of the condition require patients to be admitted to a hospital for closer observation. This bacterial infection is often characterized by chills and fevers.
- Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis
This type if Prostatitis does not show any symptoms. However, it has an inflammation of the prostate glands.
After carrying out the tests on a patient, the doctor should determine the extent at which the patient is affected by the condition. They are then required to carry out a biopsy, which is the only firm and effective diagnosis of this type of cancer. With the help of an ultrasound, a health care provider uses very thin and hollow needles to remove small tissue samples from your prostate. In most cases, the prostate is either accessed through the perineum or through the rectum. The perineum or the transperineal, is the region between the scrotum and the anus.
A biopsy is often performed as an out-patient procedure. The doctors will usually advice on the course of antibiotics to take during the treatment, to reduce chances of getting an infection. The tissue collected is then taken to a pathologist who helps to identify whether the cells are benign/ not cancerous or malignant/ cancerous.
- Protective factors to reduce or stop prostate cancer
Clinically, there are no proven protective factors or means of stopping the development of prostate cancer. However, there are several ways in which you could improve and enhance your overall health and possibly reduce the development of the condition. For instance, prostate cancer patients are required to observe a proper diet which is not only good for the prostate but also good for the heart. Also, they should engage in regular exercises and physical activities.
Patients are also advised to eat more cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Those with a smoking problem should also quit the habit. They should also drink plenty of water but very cautious with private water sources and chemicals.