The prostate is the gland surrounding the bladder neck in males. Enlargement of the prostate gland is a very common accompaniment of the aging process. Most of these prostatic problems are perfectly benign, but a fraction are malignant, and this fraction increases with advancing years.
The early symptoms of both illnesses are identical obstruction to the voiding , with increasing frequency or urination, vocturia.
This may progress in both types of disorder to a complete inability to void urine, requiring emergency relief by use of a catheter. Digital rectal examination can usually distinguish benign from malignant prostatic enlargements with fair confidence and some simple biochemical tests can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
In the great majority of patients estrogen will bring rapid relief of pain and result in the regression of the bone metastases. For those patients who fail to respond to estrogen, and who tend to belong to a predominantly younger group, treatment is less satisfactory, although if the tumor is highly anaplastic some response from both radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be anticipated.