Problems with the prostate gland are the most common cause of health complaints in men over the age of 50. Conditions include prostate cancer and benign hyperplasia, an increase in size of the prostate gland, which is one of the biggest health problems in adult men.
"Benign hyperplasia affects 60 per cent of men over the age of 60, and in those over 75 years old it rises to 90 per cent," said José Ángel Gómez Pascual, the head of Urology at the Quirónsalud Hospital in Malaga.
With regard to prostate cancer, this is the most common malignant tumour in men and the third in terms of mortality. One out of every three men will suffer prostate cancer at some time in their life, and in Spain there are more than 34,000 new cases every year.
However, "the cure rate is also high if it is detected on time and diagnosed quickly", according to Dr Gómez Pascual.
The Hospital Quirónsalud in Malaga commemorated World Prostate Health Day on 15 September by stressing the importance of prevention and the need for regular check-ups to detect any possible problems early.
"Early diagnosis increases the options for treatment and cure of prostate cancer and other conditions. The urological check-ups are vitally important, not only to rule out any prostate problems but also to check the health of other organs in the urinary apparatus such as kidneys and bladder," said Francisco Antuña Calle, the joint head of the Urology department at the hospital.
Dr Antuña said a routine prostate check-up is very simple. "We can do a complete evaluation in a morning or an afternoon. It consists of a physical examination, a blood test and an ultrasound. Later, if necessary, other tests can also be carried out," he explained.
The signs of something not being right in the prostate are: difficulty in beginning to urinate, urinating more frequently or feeling the need to do so, a feeling of never quite having emptied the bladder, urgent urination, a weak or intermittent flow of urine and, in advanced stages, incontinence.