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Prostate

The prostate is a small gland found in men, and is about the size and shape of a walnut.

What is a Prostate?

The prostate is a small gland found in men, and is about the size and shape of a walnut. It is positioned below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.

A vital organ in the male reproductive system, the prostate’s main function is the production of a fluid that, when combined with sperm from the testicles and fluids from other glands (the seminal vesicle and the bulbourethral gland), makes up semen.

Common Prostate Conditions

Unfortunately, prostate conditions are some of the most common conditions in men.

Common prostate conditions include:

01

Prostate Cancer

02

Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate)

03

Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – BPH)

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, and is the #3 cancer among men in Singapore. At-risk groups include men above 50 and those with a family history of the disease.

Prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, may not display obvious symptoms, and may only require minimal or even no treatment for a long time. However, some types of prostate cancer can be aggressive.

01

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

  • Straining to urinate, weak urine stream
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic discomfort
02

Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). Your doctor will gently insert a gloved finger into your rectum in order to assess:

    • The size and firmness of the prostate
    • If there are any growths spreading beyond the prostate
    • If pain or discomfort is felt when the prostate is pressed
  • Prostate biopsy using Transrectal Ultrasound guidance or MRI-Ultrasound Fusion guidance Techniques
  • Blood tests including PSA and PHI
  • Noninvasive imaging technology eg MRI , PET/CT is available
03

Treatment for Prostate Cancer

  • Watchful Waiting
  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy, Hormone Therapy, Chemotherapy

Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate)

This is when your prostate becomes inflamed and swollen. However, it is not cancerous and is not to be confused with the condition known as Enlarged Prostate.

There are four types of prostatitis:

01

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

02

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

03

Chronic Prostatitis / Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome – (most common type)

04

Asymptomatic Prostatitis

01

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

  • A severe and sudden bacterial infection that requires immediate medical attention
  • Symptoms:

    • Pain around the base of the penis
    • Painful urination and ejaculation
    • Weak urine stream and difficulty urinating
    • Fever, aches and chills
  • Treatment is mainly antibiotics as well as lifestyle modification to relieve symptoms
02

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

  • A milder bacterial infection that can linger for months
  • Often happens to people who have had Acute Bacterial Prostatitis, or recurring UTIs
  • Symptoms:

    • Frequent and painful urination
    • Lower back and rectal pain
    • Blood in semen or urine
03

Chronic Prostatitis / Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

  • Most common type of prostatitis
  • An inflammation where no bacteria are present
  • Symptoms:

    • Persistent (>3 months) pain in the penis, scrotum, rectal area, lower back and/or lower abdomen
    • Painful urination and ejaculation
    • Frequent urination and weak urine stream
04

Asymptomatic Prostatitis

  • An inflamed Prostate without any symptoms
  • No treatment needed

Enlarged Prostate

An Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – BPH) is very common, as the Prostate naturally increases in size once a man passes the age of 40. When the increase becomes excessive, however, the Prostate presses on the urethra, narrowing it and causing patients to suffer from difficulty urinating and the inability to empty their bladders fully. If left untreated, it can result in urinary tract infections (UTIs) or even a sudden inability to urinate – a painful medical emergency. While medical and surgical treatments for a serious case of BPH are available, in most cases, treatment may not be necessary, but exams will be conducted annually to ensure no complications develop from it.

The treatment of Prostate conditions is one of many services offered by the International Urology, Fertility & Gynaecology Centre. We also offer a wide range of urology treatments including ESWL, retrograde intrarenal surgery, and laparoscopy. For a detailed consultation and an effective treatment of prostate problems, consult urologist Dr Michael Wong at 6838-1212 today.

Prostate Cancer

In 2015, I lost a close friend to an aggressive cancer. It was devastating as he was a very good friend and only two years older than me. It was and still is a painful reminder on how cancer can affect our lives. As a urologist, I face cancer regularly through my patients, and would like to help readers to understand some of the issues doctors and patients face when dealing with prostate and other urological cancers.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in Singapore behind lung and colorectal cancers. The prostate - a small walnutsized organ that only males have - is both a gift and a curse. Its main function is to provide lubrication and fluid for the sperms to swim in during ejaculation but it can present cancer and non-cancer problems, and diagnosis can be a challenge.

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Dr Michael Wong

Medical Director & Senior Consultant Urologist
FAMS (Urology), FICS (USA), FRCS (Edinburgh),
M Med (Surgery), MBBS (S’pore)

Dr Michael Wong is a Senior Consultant Urologist who is internationally recognized for his surgical expertise and academic contribution to the field of Urology, in particular the subspecialized field of minimally invasive Endourology.

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