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What is the prostate gland?

Only men have a prostate gland. It’s usually the size and shape of a walnut and is situated just below the bladder.
It surrounds the uretha, which urine and semen pass through.
The main function of the prostate gland is to make some of the
semen that carries sperm.

What can go wrong with the prostate gland?

Potential problems include:​

  • An enlarged prostate - this is the most common prostate problem and is not a form of cancer

  • Prostatitis - an inflammation or infection in the prostate.  This isn't a form of cancer either

  • Prostate cancer

What changes should you look out for?

Difficulties when urinating may indicate a prostate problem.  Symptoms include:

  • Needing to urinate more often, especially at night

  • Difficulty in starting

  • Straining or taking a long time to finish

  • A weak flow

Less common symptoms include:


  • Pain when peeing

  • Pain when ejaculating

  • Blood in urine or semen


If you have any of these symptoms, you may wish to get further advice or a check-up at your GP surgery.  Every man over the age of 50 in the UK has the right to have a simple blood test called a Prostate Specific Antigen Test, usually called a PSA Test.  This can indicate problems with your prostate.  Talk it over with your GP who may refer you to a specialist for further tests and advice.

What if cancer is diagnosed?

  • If the cancer is confined within the prostate, it is generally curable

  • Early detection can prevent death

  • Early stage disease allows a much wider choice of treatments – more than any other cancer

  • If the cancer has spread outside the prostate there are fewer options for treatment

  • Once the cancer has spread to other organs or bones, treatment is provided to control the condition


​For further details of the treatment options available please visit Prostate Cancer UK.


Alternatively, if you have been newly diagnosed, please click here to read our practical advice.

  • Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection (but this is more commonly caused by other health conditions)

  • A feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly

  • Needing to rush urgently to the loo

  • Dribbling

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