Prostate gland situated at the base of the bladder starts enlarging in size after the age of 40 yrs. It is an age related problem and is very common. Up to 50% of men above the age of 40 yrs will need attention to and some kind of treatment for their enlarging prostate causing bothersome symptoms. This may include simply lifestyle adjustments to surgery on the prostate. Therefore, prostate assessment forms an integral part of men's health check up.
Moreover, there is a strong proven association between lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) caused by benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) and male sexual dysfunction (MSD) commonly presenting as erectile dysfunction (ED); with up to two thirds of men presenting with both these symptoms almost simultaneously.
It is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, second only to lung cancer. It does not have any characteristic symptoms attributable to it, and hence the diagnosis at times is delayed. Moreover, there is no diagnostic test sensitive and specific enough to help an accurate early diagnosis. And the tests available lead to a lot of anxiety and uncertainty when the results fail to diagnose cancer, as a negative test result does not necessarily rule out cancer.
Early diagnosis however opens a number of curative treatment options and satisfactory prognosis however, in the absence of a disease specific test to make a diagnosis, it has been difficult to justify screening for prostate cancer.
Non-specific inflammation of the prostate gland is far more common that reported, as the symptoms are rather non-specific and vague leading to an under diagnosis of this condition. It is mainly a clinical diagnosis not always supported by test results and difficult to treat and as such difficult to reassure men presenting with it, majority of them being young / middle-aged and worried well.