The prostate is a small gland, about the size of a walnut found only in men. It sits just below the bladder and surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that takes urine from the bladder to the penis to be discharged from the body.
Located near the prostate are the nerves, blood vessels and muscles needed to achieve an erection and to control bladder function.
The prostate produces part of the fluid that makes up semen. It normally increases in size as men get older. The growth of the prostate depends on the male sex hormone, testosterone, which is made by the testes.
The growing prostate makes the urethra narrower and this can change urination patterns. This increase in size is called benign prostate enlargement, which is not cancerous.
Benign prostate enlargement and late-stage prostate cancer have the following, similar symptoms.
Early-stage prostate cancer usually has no early symptoms. If you have any of the above symptoms, please consult your doctor. Remember, benign prostate enlargement can usually be treated easily.
Note: Many symptoms of benign prostate enlargement are similar to those found in prostate cancer, but they are not related. Having benign prostate enlargement does not automatically increase the risk of prostate cancer.