The Importance of Prostate Control

From the age of 40, the prostate begins a growth that in most cases is benign in nature and that we know as prostate adenoma. About 10% of this growth can be malignant (cancer).

What is the prostate?

The prostate is an internal secretion gland that is anatomically located under the bladder and surrounding the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from the inside of the bladder to the outside). One of the most important functions of this exclusive male gland is to provide nutrients for the maturation of sperm.

What causes an enlarged prostate?

Prostate growth, whether benign or malignant, can cause symptoms currently known as LUTS (Lower Tract Urynary Simptoms) or lower urinary tract symptoms. These can be of variable intensity (mild, moderate or severe) and expressed as bladder, irritative or filling symptoms of the bladder and urethral, ​​obstructive or bladder emptying symptoms.

People with lower urinary tract symptoms have:

  • Urinate more frequently
  • Getting up at night to urinate.
  • Urge to urinate that often causes involuntary loss of urine.
  • Delay in starting urination.
  • Weak and / or choppy jet.
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.
  • Post voiding drip.

When and how should the prostate be evaluated?

It is recommended to start a prostate evaluation from the age of 50 or from the age of 40 in the case of a direct family history of prostate cancer.

When we carry out the prostate evaluation we take into account 2 aspects:

  • The type of gland growth (benign or malignant).
  • The alteration in the quality of urination (urinary obstruction) that generates LUTS.

The evaluation of the prostate growth is carried out with a rectal examination, which allows to evaluate the size, the sensitivity, the presence of nodules and fundamentally the consistency and by the determination of a marker present in the blood called prostate specific antigen (PSA or PSA in English). ). According to the results of the digital rectal examination and the PSA value, a control or a prostate biopsy will be suggested.

To evaluate the alteration in the quality of urination, the following are used:

  • Self-response questionnaires such as the index of prostate symptom score (IPPS in English) (add link that leads to the questionnaire).
  • Urinary flowmetry, a method that consists of the emission of urine into a container connected to a computer that produces a urination record or curve that can infer the possibility of abnormal urination.
  • Renal and abdominal vesicoprostatic ultrasound to evaluate the anatomy of the upper and lower urinary tree, the prostate volume, the presence of stones, cysts, tumors, and postvoid residue.

What can be the results of a prostate evaluation?

Faced with the diagnosis of a benign prostatic growth (prostate adenoma), the indication for annual periodic control, medical treatment or prostate surgery (removal of the prostate adenoma) will arise.

It is important to clarify that the removal of the prostate adenoma does not prevent the development of prostate cancer, so that all patients operated on for prostate adenoma should continue with their periodic controls.

If the evaluation shows the presence of prostate cancer, there will be a need to determine if the process is localized to the gland or has already exceeded its limits to carry out a treatment that may be surgical, with rays or with medication that blocks the effect of hormones. male.

What are the risks of not having a prostate evaluation?

The risks are not to detect early a cancer of the gland which reduces the possibilities of radical treatment.

When the prostate is enlarged and without treatment, the risks of obstruction can generate complications such as recurrent urinary infections, bleeding, bladder stones, urinary retention, deterioration of bladder function, dilation of the kidneys and in more cases severe kidney failure.

What is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a progressive process that takes several decades to develop, which consists of the obstruction of the arteries of various regions of the body (carotid, coronary, renal, lower limb, aorta, etc.) by the so-called ¨atherosclerotic plaques. ¨, which are elevations of the wall of the arteries that compromise the interior light of the same thanks to the accumulation of inflammatory cells and lipids.

This gradual process of arterial obstruction is influenced by different stimuli that occur in daily life, called risk factors, the most important being diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and hypercholesterolemia. Fortunately, these factors can be eliminated (smoking) or controlled with diet and medications (the other three). There is also a hereditary genetic factor in some patients, which cannot be corrected, but the patient can be subjected to periodic medical check-ups with an emphasis on disease prevention.

The diffuse involvement of this disease (also called arteriosclerosis and atheromatosis) causes different types of diseases depending on the irrigation territory. In the coronary territory it produces angina pectoris and can end in a heart attack, in the cerebral territory it can cause temporary blindness or the so-called cerebrovascular accident or CVA, which implies a partial or total deficit of mobility in half of the body (hemiparesis or hemiplegia) on the side opposite to the affected artery, in the renal territory it causes arterial hypertension that is difficult to control with medications and in the lower limbs the so-called intermittent claudication, which is pain in the calves or buttocks during walking, which frequently forces the patient to stop.

What symptoms does atherosclerosis cause in the various organs?


In heart disease, the obstructions of the coronary arteries caused by atherosclerosis generally cause a symptom called angina pectoris or angor pectoris, which in general is oppressive, such as a weight in the middle of the chest, and which can sometimes run or radiating to the arms, back, neck, jaw, or mouth.

This pain is usually triggered by exertion and disappears quickly with the patient’s rest. It can also be caused by nerves, cold, sexual intercourse, after large meals, at night when lying in bed with cold sheets, etc. Its intensity is variable and generally lasts a few minutes. It can also be accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

In cases of heart attack or acute symptoms, the pain can be very strong and prolonged, without being relieved with medications. As a patient, you should not evaluate yourself whether or not a chest pain may or may not correspond to a heart condition, but rather you should immediately consult a doctor so that he can evaluate the origin and severity of the symptoms.


Blockages of the arteries of the brain can cause symptoms of different kinds. One of them is the temporary loss of vision in one eye, called ¨amaurosis fugax¨ (fleeting blindness), caused by a small fat embolism from a carotid obstruction.

There may also be partial or total difficulty in mobilizing the arm and leg on the same side, and this symptom may be temporary or permanent. When it is permanent it is called cerebrovascular accident or CVA, and when it is transitory “transient ischemic attack” or TIA.

Other symptoms can be syncope, dizziness, unsteadiness when walking, etc.
Lower limbs

The obstructions of the arteries of the lower limbs cause what is called “intermittent claudication”, which consists of pain in the calves or in the gluteal area that forces us to stop, since the symptom is triggered while the patient is walking.

Initially the pain can be felt when walking between 500 or 1,000 meters, but as the disease becomes more severe, the number of blocks that the patient can walk without pain is gradually reduced. When the pain appears at 100 meters or less, it is considered that some type of intervention should be carried out to solve the problem (angioplasty or surgery). In the most severe stages, sores or ulcers can be seen on the feet that do not heal due to lack of irrigation.

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