​There are 3 diseases of the prostate discussed on this website – prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.

This section sets out the key symptoms, investigations and risk factors of each. It provides an explanation and any categories of each disease. It also provides explanations of key tests such as the digital rectal examination, PSA test, ultrasound scans, CT and MRI Scans.


Prostatitis is infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis makes up almost a quarter of urology consultations so is an important disease for both patients and doctors, although similar symptoms can also be caused by other conditions which are non-inflammatory and these days also known as ‘pelvic pain syndrome.’ Prostatitis can affect men from the age of 18 but most commonly affects men between the ages of 30 and 50. For further information please click here or go to the section below.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)  is a condition which can affect men through an enlarged prostate, due to the growth of non-cancerous tumours in the prostate. A small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over the age of 40 and particularly affects men over the age of 50. Nearly half (43%) of men over the age of 65 have either some urinary symptoms or a reduced urinary flow due to BPH. As many as 9 out of 10 men in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer can affect 1 in 10 men in Scotland and is the most common cancer amongst men in Scotland. Whilst the number of people diagnosed with prostate cancer in Scotland has increased, so have survival rates, especially where there has been an early diagnosis.  Prostate cancer may be:

  • Early or localised where it is still inside the prostate and has not spread to other parts of the body;
  • Locally advanced where it has spread just outside through the prostate capsule (covering) or into the seminal vesicles that lie just behind the prostate;
  • Advanced where the cancer cells have spread away from the prostate through the bloodstream or lymph channels. On reaching a new site(s) the cancer cells may start to grow causing another growth or tumour. These are called secondary cancers (secondaries) or metastases.

Please note:  we are sorry but Prostate Scotland  is unable to  answer any individual, personal medical questions, recommend which treatments might be suitable for an individual or recommend individual medical care or health professionals.

What can you do to help yourself to prostate health?

You might want to start thinking about what is meant by healthier lifestyle choices that you may like to consider for your prostate health and in fact your general health and well-being.  Lifestyle choices are more than just about the food you eat – it’s also about exercise, weight, alcohol and smoking.

Generally doctors agree that men with an average risk of prostate disease and prostate cancer should try to make choices that benefit their overall health by choosing healthier foods, taking regular exercise, stopping smoking and keeping alcohol within recommended guidelines.

At the moment there is no sure way or quick fix miracle nutrient, supplement or diet to prevent prostate disease or prostate cancer and it may be a case of considering changing your whole way of eating and choosing healthier foods.  Involving the whole family in making healthier food choices may make it easier and may benefit their general health and well-being.

Please click to find out more about healthier lifestyle choices.

What the medical words mean?  Abbreviations that you might hear and medical staff that you might meet.

When you have been diagnosed with any disease or condition, unavoidably, there will medical words and abbreviations that doctors, nurses and other medical staff will use that you have never heard of and will perhaps not know what they mean; prostate disease and prostate cancer are no different.

A helpful list of terms you might hear is provided here in alphabetical order.