My Dad had prostate cancer. My brother had prostate cancer. I’ve had two biopsy’s looking for cancer. Nothing yet. But my prostate gland is enlarged, a condition called Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. From what I’ve read about it I understand that it can be fairly common among men usually beginning in their 50’s. That’s when mine started. The symptoms are frequent urination, painful urination, urgency of urination, and inability to completely empty the bladder. I know this isn’t something most men want to hear or talk about, but it’s important that we do. Untreated BPH can cause bladder damage, kidney damage and infection and can be a sign of prostate cancer. Along with the symptoms there is a blood test called PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen that will help determine if you have it. If you do have it, your Doctor will probably order a Prostate biopsy. None of these things are fun, but they may help keep you alive and healthy.
One of the signs is urgency of urination. I’ll be going about my day and suddenly, within about thirty seconds or so, I’ll feel like I have to pee RIGHT NOW! It is sudden and severe. So much so that I have to clamp down as hard as I can to keep from going and I have to find a bathroom immediately. Obviously, this can be a problem. If I’m going to go anywhere I need to know where the bathrooms are and how far away from them I’ll be. I usually won’t drink anything for an hour before I leave. And to be very blunt, it completely sucks. Then when I do go, it’s painful. It’s definitely something you don’t want, but is statistically something you’ll probably get.
There are drugs you can take to help with BPH. I’m not in favor of taking medications, and if the problem was just pain and urgency, I’d probably just live with it but BPH can cause other health problems that are severe. There are other treatments besides drugs like surgery which is not something I’d look forward to either. So meds first.
In my career as a Medical Laboratory Technician I drew a lot of blood from people and I know for a fact that men are very much the weenies when it comes to having their blood drawn. I had several people pass out from having their blood drawn and only once was it a woman. And passing out is not a symptom of blood drawing. It’s caused by getting yourself so worked up about the procedure that you pass out. So men, it’s time to buck up! If you’ve got the symptoms, talk to your Doctor and get the blood test. Just do it. It could possibly save your life.