Prostate problems are big concern for elderly men

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We will become more vulnerable to various health issues as we age, and one of the most common concerns among elderly men is prostate problems. The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder that plays a crucial role in male reproductive health.


In this blog, we will explore the prevalence of prostate problems among the elderly, discuss the risk factors associated with these issues, delve into potential complications, explore treatment options, and provide valuable insights into prevention measures.


A confused elderly, prostate problems, schizophrenia

Trends and statistics

Prostate problems are indeed a significant concern for ageing men. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in American men (after skin cancer), with about 1 in 8 being diagnosed during their lifetime. According to World Cancer Resarch Fund International, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in men worldwide, it is reported that there were more than 1.4 million new cases of prostate cancer in 2020. Sweden, France, and Ireland were among the top 3 countries with the highest prostate cancer incidence in 2020.


While prostate cancer is a serious issue, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an enlarged prostate, is even more prevalent. Around 50% of men over the age of 50 and up to 90% of men over the age of 80 experience symptoms of BPH.


Risk factors

Several factors increase the risk of developing prostate problems in the elderly:

  1. Age
    The risk of prostate issues, particularly prostate cancer and BPH, increases with age.

  2. Family history
    A family history of prostate problems, especially prostate cancer, can elevate an individual’s risk.

  3. Race and ethnicity
    African American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer, while Asian American and Hispanic/Latino men have a lower risk.

  4. Height
    Height of a man is also correlates with increased risk of prostate cancer. 
  5. Diet
    Diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables may contribute to an increased risk of prostate problems. There is also some evidence reported that high consumption of dairy products, calcium, and vitamin E might increase the risk of prostate cancer.

  6. Lifestyle
    Sedentary lifestyles and obesity can also raise the risk of prostate problems.

Symptoms and complications of prostate problems

Recognizing the symptoms of prostate problems is essential for early intervention and effective management.

  • For benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, usually there will be changes in bladder habits, common symptoms include frequent urination, especially during the night, a weak urinary stream, difficulty initiating urination, and the sensation of incomplete bladder emptying.
Prostate of elderly man
  • Prostatitis, on the other hand, is an inflammation of the prostate, often caused by bacterial infections. Prostatitis presents with symptoms like painful urination, pelvic pain or discomfort, urinary urgency, blood in urine, and sometimes fever or chills in the case of infectious prostatitis.

  • Prostate cancer, in its early stages, often doesn’t produce noticeable symptoms, making regular screenings vital. When symptoms do appear in advanced stages, they may include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, bone pain, and unexplained weight loss.

It’s crucial for elderly individuals to be aware of these symptoms and promptly consult a healthcare provider if they experience any, as early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve outcomes and quality of life.


What are the available treatment options for prostate problems?

Treatment for prostate problems varies depending on the specific condition and its severity. Common treatment options include:

  1. Medications
    Medications can help manage symptoms of an enlarged prostate or prostate infections.
  2. Active surveillance
    For slow-growing prostate cancer, doctors may recommend close monitoring of the condition rather than immediate treatment.
  3. Surgery
    For advanced stage of BPH or prostate cancer, surgical procedures like transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or prostatectomy may be necessary.
  4. Radiation therapy
    After prostate cancer surgical removal, radiation therapy can be applied to target and destroy the remnant cancerous cells.

How you can prevent prostate problems when you are still healthy?

While not all prostate problems can be prevented, certain lifestyle choices can reduce the risk:

  1. Healthy diet
    Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting red meat and processed foods.

  2. Regular exercise
    Physical activity such as yoga, Tai Chi Quan, swimming, brisk walking, etc. can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of prostate problems.

  3. Regular health check-ups
    Annual health check-ups can aid in the early detection of potential prostate and other health issues.

  4. Family history
    Be aware of family history and discuss it with a healthcare provider for appropriate screening recommendations.


Prostate problems can significantly impact the quality of life of any men, especially elderly person. Understanding the risks, complications, and prevention measures is crucial for both the elderly individuals themselves and their caregivers. Early detection and proactive management can often lead to better outcomes, ensuring that ourselves or our ageing loved ones enjoy a healthier and more comfortable retirement.


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