How much do you think you know about prostate health?

John Miller

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The prostate gland is the little gland that gets a lot of big headlines. It's critical for reproduction, but it's also often troublesome. How much do you know about prostate health?

The prostate gland is an important gland that's only found in _____.

Only men have a prostate gland. But ladies, stick around for this quiz because what you learn could benefit your male friends and family.

What's the purpose of the prostate gland?

The prostate gland generates a milky, alkaline fluid that's blended into semen. It helps the sperm better survive inside a female's birth canal following intercourse.

Where is the prostate located?

The prostate is located between the penis and bladder. It's roughly the size of a walnut.

Which body part runs directly through the prostate?

The urethra, which carries both urine and semen in males, runs directly through the prostrate gland. This little fact can cause big problems for some men.

True or false, does frequent ejaculation increase the risk of problems with the prostate?

Frequent ejaculation doesn't increase prostate problems. It may even improve prostate functioning and protect the gland.

What is the most common type of cancer in men?

You guessed it -- prostate cancer is the No. 1 most common type of cancer in men. After lung cancer, it's also the second-most common type of cancer that kills men.

What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is general inflammation of the prostate. Inflammation can be a result of a number of different conditions.

What's one symptom of prostate cancer?

It's an annoying but potentially important sign: frequent nighttime urination. So if you're peeing at all hours of the night, consult your doctor.

Chemotherapy is sometimes used for what sort of prostate cancer?

In the unfortunate event that the cancer is advanced, chemotherapy can be used to slow or possibly stop the cancer's spread.

What is NOT a potential sign of prostate cancer?

No, bloodshot eyes aren't a sign of prostate cancer. Painful ejaculation, blood in the semen or urine? Those are bad signs.

True or false, do some men with prostate cancer never experience any symptoms at all?

Prostate cancer can be sneaky. Some men have prostate cancer for years and never exhibit any signs of the disease.

Most men with prostate cancer are over the age of _____.

Most men with prostate cancer are 65 or older.

What's one way your doctor can check the health of the prostate gland?

Bend over, this won't hurt a bit. Your doctor can perform a (really fun) rectal exam to get a handle on the health of the prostate. A swollen prostate, of course, is often bad news.

True or false, are human males the only animals equipped with an awesome prostate gland?

A lot of male animals have prostate glands. But the gland varies widely in size and functionality depending on the species.

What's the purpose of a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test?

A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is meant to test for prostate cancer. This screening can help your doctor catch the disease in its early stages, which may save your life.

True or false, are prostate specific antigen tests always accurate?

PSA tests are not always accurate. Sometimes, they create a false positive for cancer, a fact that makes some men leery about having the test performed.

Which of the following is one of the most common issues with the prostate?

Inflammation causes swelling. Swelling means an enlarged prostate, and it can cause all sorts of misery for men.

What's one very common symptom of an enlarged prostate?

Because the urethra runs through the prostate, any swelling of the prostate may slow or stop urination. So affected men spend many frustrating minutes in the restroom trying to relieve themselves.

How common are chronic bacterial infections of the prostate?

Chronic bacterial infections of the prostate are rare. And in the unlikely event that they do occur, antibiotics can help.

If your doctor inserts his fingers into your rectum during an exam, he's looking for ____.

Doctors often perform digital (finger) exams in which they feel the inside of your rectum. If your prostate is swollen, they'll be able to feel it with their fingertips.

If your doctor detects prostate cancer, she may recommend which course of action?

Prostate cancer typically isn't aggressive. Many doctors choose to monitor the disease to see if it's really growing or just hanging out like your annoying in-laws, who never seem to want to go home.

How does the American Cancer Society approach the issue of prostate cancer screening?

The American Cancer Society encourages restraint with regard to testing. Men over the age of 50 should discuss the pros and cons of testing with their doctors.

How is a prostate ultrasound test performed?

If your doctor detects swelling in your prostate, she may order a prostate ultrasound test for further information. It's performed with a rectal probe that's inserted close to the prostate.

What's the purpose of a prostate biopsy?

The (rather scary) purpose of a prostate biopsy is to see whether that swollen prostate might be cancerous. To perform a biopsy, your doctor will stick a needle right in there ... and fortunately, it doesn't hurt too much.

True or false, do vasectomies drastically increase the chances of prostate cancer?

There's no concrete evidence that vasectomies increase prostate cancer risk. If there is a link, it's not really established by the scientific community.

Alpha-blockers can help men suffering from an enlarged prostate. How?

Alpha-blockers help to relax the muscles of the urethra. This, in turn, makes it easier for men to urinate when the prostate is swollen.

Chronic (non-bacterial) prostatitis is often called what?

Chronic (non-bacterial) prostatitis is often called male chronic pelvic pain. And yeah, it really sucks if you have to deal with it all the time.

Swollen prostates are common. What's an equally common (and effective) treatment?

Anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently administered to reduce prostate swelling. Happily, they often do the trick.

How does prostate cancer tend to develop?

As cancers go, this one tends to develop slowly. That's great news, but only if you actively seek treatment.

What happens during a prostatectomy?

If the swelling is too severe or if cancer is present, your doctor may perform a prostatectomy, in which the entire gland is sliced out of the body.

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