Abnormality or disease of the prostate gland. About half of all men over 60 have some nonmalignant enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The gland may eventually compress the urethra, causing problems urinating. Severe cases can lead to infection, bladder stones, obstruction, and kidney failure. Prostate cancer, also found mainly in older men, can be deadly but usually grows so slowly that most patients die of something else before the cancer spreads. Since surgery and radiation therapy often lead to incontinence and impotence, many cases are monitored (through prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, tests) and treated only if necessary. Gonorrhea and other bacterial infections involving the prostate are treated with antibiotics.
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