It would be my pleasure to let you know that today makes it exactly three weeks i resumed active duty as an Intern Licensed Nurse on the busiest Male ward in the Largest hospital in Lagos Nigeria since the two months old ‘walkout‘ was called off (Good for me, you would say). However, it would be my displeasure to inform you that i am currently Nursing the 15th patient with a ‘prostatic disorder‘ in the span of these twenty one days. This little illustration shows how prevalent the various kinds of ‘prostatic disorders‘ (Enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer) have become in our society.
Meanwhile, for the sake of easy understanding, i would like to define some basic terms ( To avoid super stories that ‘touch‘ the heart)
°The prostate is firm partly muscular ‘chestnut sized’ gland in males at the neck of the urethra.
°Prostatitis is the response of the prostate to injury or irritation
°Benign is a non cancerous growth
°Malignant is a cancerous growth
°The bladder is a membranous sac for temporary retention of urine
°The urethra is a duct (tube) through which urine is discharged out of the body.
°Semen is the thick white fluid containing sperm cells that is ejaculated by the penis
°Ejaculation is the release of semen from the penis
°Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate, high level of it shows that there is a looming problem.
The prostate is basically not essential for life. It’s function is to boost the volume of semen by producing a sticky secretion that is the fluid part of semen. The muscles of the prostate also help to propel this semen into the urethra during ejaculation.
Unfortunately, while the prostate is in a great location for delivering this important fluid and squeezing things along when the time is right, it’s position around the urethra can be a liability if the gland swells or grows than normal size. This swelling could be benign or malignant and factors which would be discussed later actually cause the prostate to swell. A swollen prostate compresses the urethra and irritates the walls of the bladder thereby causing one or more of the signs and symptoms below;
°Difficulty starting to urinate
°Urinating more often than normal including at night
°Producing bloody urine or semen
°Straining on urination
°Inability to hold urine
°Urine dripping from the penis after you finish urinating
°A feeling that you are not emptying your bladder fully
Pain when ejaculating (Coming)
**The above are not only restricted to prostatic disorders, they could be experienced when you have other forms of illnesses or infections affecting the male genital tract**
Prostatic disorders usually do not start showing signs within a day or two. Most of the signs and symptoms are experienced around the fourth and fifth decade of life after a long or short period (depending on how lucky you are) of growth process.
Therefore, you should be concerned at an age below 40 if you have two or more first degree relatives ( Father, brother) with histories of prostatic disorders, at age 40 if you have a first degree relative or distant relatives with the disorder and at age 50 upwards if there is no history. Being a male is a non negotiable factor that could put you at risk of the disorder. Nonetheless, there are other factors that could put you at risk of having a prostatic disorder anytime in life and these factors include;
To detect if you are liable to developing a kind of prostate disorder or not, you need to go and check the level of PSA in your blood (1-4micgrm/ml). The PSA level increases as you age.
See your Doctor or Nurse for a Digital Rectal Examination-The Doctor or Nurse inserts his finger into your rectum to feel for any abnormal growth or swelling.
If a swelling is observed on examination, you would be advised to do a prostate tissue biopsy so as to determine if the swelling is cancerous or not.
Finally, you need to keep your ass healthy and get your prostate checked today because early detection is like a two edged sword in the sense that it also helps to prevent the escalation of the disorder in a way or more.