Although the organ is about the size of a walnut, when a person reaches the elderly age, there can be hypertrophy or over growth of the prostate tissues which can make the prostate swell and therefore give rise to many of the problems that are recognized as ‘prostate problems’.
Apart from these types of prostate related problems, there can be other types of more serious conditions which can lead to similar manifestations in an elderly person. These include inflammation of the prostate or prostatitis and prostate cancer. Although the general manifestations are similar in nature, each of these conditions would have its own set of symptoms which would be useful in differentiating them clinically. But, in any of these conditions, whether benign or malignant, the ultimate diagnosis would depend on a combination of clinical findings, imaging studies as well as on certain blood tests.
Let us now discuss some of the clinical manifestations of prostate related problems.
The reason for these symptoms would be the obstruction caused to the urethra which would be enclosed by the prostate gland. Therefore, if an elderly person complains of the following symptoms, it would most likely to be a prostate related problem.
Frequency : This is the manifestation which would make a person to pass urine rather frequently and this would be more of a nuisance during the night as it would deprive the person of a good night sleep.
Hesitancy : This would be the difficulty to initiate the passing of urine and in most instances a person would complain that they need to wait for more than the usual amount of time to initiate the urine flow.
Poor flow : Following initiating the passing of urine, the force of the urine stream would be rather low.
Dribbling: Finally, the urine flow would not be stopping as it is used to but would rather dribble for a while before termination.
The above symptoms would be the most common prostate related urinary symptoms that are being complained by elderly individuals who suffer from benign prostatic diseases.
These can include pain while passing urine or else at times of ejaculation. At the same time, they may also complain of a varying level of fever as well. At times, bad odor in the urine as well as slight blood staining would also be seen.
In instances where the prostate problem would be a malignant cancer, there may be other signs such as weight loss, loss of appetite, bone pain, shortness of breath…etc mostly due to the metastatic effect of these cancers.