Prostate (diseases)

All information on prostate (diseases)

At a glance

The prostate gland belongs to the sex organs of the man. It lies below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate usually weighs around 20 grams and is chestnut-sized – about three centimeters long and four centimeters wide.

The gland produces a secretion that is released into the urethra during ejaculation and mixes with the sperm. It makes up about 30 percent of the seminal fluid and ensures better sperm motility.

For more information

The following diseases are distinguished:

Prostate inflammation (prostatitis)

Inflammation of the prostate, for example, can occur when certain substances from the urine or bacteria enter the tissue of the gland. For this reason, physicians also speak of abacterial or bacterial prostatitis. Both forms of prostatitis manifest themselves in symptoms such as frequent urge to urinate and pain when urinating. Furthermore, pain can occur throughout the abdomen, during sexual intercourse and during bowel movements. Inflammation is often accompanied by fever and a general, acute feeling of illness.


Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH)

In Germany, more than a quarter of all men over the age of 50 are affected by prostate enlargement. Although the enlargement is benign, it usually causes more or less major problems when urinating, as it narrows the urethra the more the prostate expands. If nothing is done about it, there can be a life-threatening urinary retention at an advanced stage.


Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Germany. It is true that there is a very good chance of recovery if the disease is diagnosed early enough. The problem, however, is that the symptoms only occur at an advanced stage, but on the other hand they do not clearly indicate prostate cancer. This is why early detection is of particular importance.



  • Miction disorders such as painful urination, urinary compulsion – Stranguria
  • Difficult, disturbed bladder emptying – Dysuria
  • Feeling of pressure on the dam or in the lower abdomen
  • Pain in ejaculatory effusion
  • Back pain, especially in the area of coccyx or lumbar vertebrae
  • Problems with bowel movements
  • Blood in urine or seminal fluid
  • Erection problems


Risk factors

The exact causes that lead to prostate cancer have not yet been fully clarified.

  • However, a major risk factor for prostate cancer is certainly age. At least 80 percent of all men affected have already reached the age of 60. According to medical estimates, more than 60 percent of men in this age group have an early form of prostate cancer. In most cases, this remains small and does not require any treatment.
  • In addition to increasing age, the male hormone testosterone has a decisive influence. Men who do not produce testosterone (for example after testicular removal = castration), do not develop enlargement of the prostate. There is evidence that dihydrotestosterone, which is formed from the male sex hormone testosterone, is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • Apparently there is also a family predisposition to the disease: If there are already cases of benign prostate enlargement in the nearby relationship, the own risk of illness increases.
  • Risk factors such as high-fat diets,lack of exercise or alcohol and nicotine consumption are also repeatedly suspected as causes – but there is no solid evidence for this.


Urine diagnostics

  • Monitoring of miction parameters (quantity, pressure, duration of urinate). In uroflowmetry, the doctor measures the strength of the urinary ray (ml per second), the amount of urination (ml) and the miction time (seconds)
  • Measurement of erythrocytes (blood) in urine – hematuria
  • In addition, there are several urine marker tests for prostate cancer on the market or still in development/clinical testing. However, the benefits of these marker tests have not yet been fully clarified.



  • Whether benign prostate enlargement is related to various dietary factors is the subject of research. However, it is not yet possible to deduce specific dietary rules.


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Status of information: Autumn 2019