Signs there is a problem with your prostate

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

By Jason Howland

Prostate cancer affects more than 250,000 people in the U.S. with about 60% of cases diagnosed in people over 65. But cancer isn’t the only problem that can occur in prostates.

"The prostate gland is a gland that sits around the urethra in men, just below the bladder," says Matthew Tollefson, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urologic oncologist. "That gland is responsible for producing semen."

"Men basically urinate through the middle of the prostate – kind of like through the hole in a doughnut," says Dr. Tollefson. "As that doughnut gets larger, that starts to pinch off the urinary stream."

To hear Dr. Tollefson explain how a growing prostate can cause problems, watch this video:

For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

The result of an enlarged prostate is a tough time emptying the bladder and a need to go more frequently. Infections of the prostate are also common and can have similar symptoms, which is why it's important to share information with your health care team.

And even though those symptoms can be embarrassing for some patients, Dr. Tollefson says it's important to see a health care professional.

"There's no reason to really suffer and go through side effects of progression and that type of thing when, really, these things are generally very well-treated and with very little side effect," says Dr. Tollefson.

Learn more

Learn more about prostate gland enlargement and prostate cancer.

Also read:

A version of this article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.