What is the prostate gland?
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and sits at the base of
the bladder around the tube (urethra) that urine passes through. It makes
liquid to keep the urethra moist and healthy and adds to the fluid, which
carries sperm on ejaculation.

How are men affected?
The prostate starts to enlarge in all men once they reach their 40's. As
it gets bigger it prevents the normal flow of urine, like a kink in a
hosepipe. Some men suffer severe symptoms whilst others suffer only minor
symptoms or nothing at all. It's estimated that one in four men in their
50's and one in two men over 60 years of age will be troubled to some
degree by this enlargement of the prostate gland...this is known as benign
prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).

What are the symptoms?
Difficulty passing urine; a weak stream; repeatedly having to get up at
night to pass urine; feeling the bladder isn't empty and needing to go
again almost immediately; having to pass urine more and more frequently;
and dribbling after passing urine. Men with an enlarged prostate can
suffer some or all of these symptoms.

What tests are there?
Rectal Examination
Urine test - testing for infection
Blood tests - Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), kidney function tests
Ultra-sound of prostate gland
Biopsy of prostate gland

The tests you have will depend on what your doctor thinks is appropriate.

If the symptoms are only minor then lifestyle changes such as eating a low
fat diet with plenty of red tomatoes and Soya foods, and cutting down the
amount of caffeine and alcohol may be all that's needed.

More troublesome symptoms can be treated with medicines or an operation
 which reduces the size of the prostate gland and improves the flow of
urine. This is done trans-urethrally and is a common procedure with
minimal discomfort...average length of stay in hospital is 3 to 4
days.