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Your Healthy Family: The basics of the prostate and what men need to be watching out for

Posted at 11:17 AM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 11:15:40-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Is there a topic that men enjoy discussing more, or having a doctor examine than the prostate? Speaking for myself, and I’m guessing for guys in general there are MANY topics that are preferable.

Chances are, unless you’re a guy over the age of 40 or you went to medical school or know human anatomy most guys have heard of the prostate, and they know there is a cancer risk involved but other than that most of us simply don’t like to talk about it.

Dr. Gary Bong, MD, is a urologist with Pikes Peak Urology in Colorado Springs. Dr. Bong explains: “The prostate is mostly a reproductive organ in men. It’s also part of the urinary tract and we urinate through the center of the prostate.”

Where exactly down there, is the prostate located? Dr. Bong says, “The urethra runs through the center of the prostate and then it turns into the bladder. It sits in the pelvis right behind the pubic bone and right next to the rectum.”

Dr. Bong also says that there is more that can go wrong with the prostate than just cancer. “There are benign prostate diseases. The two most common that we see in the office are BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is the growth that occurs with the prostate over time that can cause urinary symptoms and urinary changes. The second most common thing we see is prostatitis which is simply an inflammation of the prostate, which can be either inflammatory or it can be a bacterial prostate infection. Both of these conditions can cause more sudden changes in how you’re urinating.

Dr. Bong says the early symptoms of BPH can come on slowly. “Guys will start to notice a slower stream, it might take a while to initiate urination or to make it stop and start, or dribble afterward. Then over time, over the course of many years, the bladder gets under stress from working harder than it wants to and the bladder becomes hyperactive and hypersensitive. Then guys transition into a new set of symptoms which is where they are peeing more frequently than they used to, rushing off to the bathroom quicker than they normally do, getting up at night to urinate, not feeling like they empty all the way, and if it gets bad enough they can even have accidents and wet their pants before they get to the bathroom in time. This is all considered under the spectrum of BPH.”

Many of us here at News5, myself included, have chosen to grow beards to promote awareness of men’s health and to raise money to support The American Cancer Society. We have also teamed with our sister station Denver7 and called our statewide effort, No Shave Colorado [secure.acsevents.org]. As our beards blossom through the month I hope you will support our efforts!

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