Chris, 47, has a question about urination. "I have been experiencing a decrease in flow, and when I think I'm empty, I'm not. There's always that little bit left over," he says. "Is it normal for urination patterns to change, slow down, even when at your end you need to shake off a little bit?"
Dr. Oz says Chris is describing an enlargement of the prostate, and these symptoms generally start around age 40.
Here's how the prostate works: Its goal is to make chemicals that mix with sperm in order to allow the sperm to do what it needs to do. The prostate also shuts off the bladder so urine doesn't mix with sperm.
Dr. Oz shows Chris an actual prostate and has him feel the area that shuts off the bladder so the urine can't go anywhere. "It's still stuffed, right? It's a little taut. This person had what's called BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy, it's a big, thick prostate," he says. "So what ends up happening when the prostate gets larger is you can't start to go to the bathroom. You just can't get it going. Once you get going, it's dribbling along, right? When you finish, you still feel like you're full."
Dr. Oz also shows Chris another part of the prostate and has him feel a firm, walnut-like growth. "Now, that is prostate cancer," he says. "It's a little nubbin on top of the prostate. That's why the doctor does a rectal exam on you. They're looking for that."
Prostate cancer is easy to detect with a rectal exam or a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test. The test measures the level of protein in the blood produced by the prostate. If the levels are elevated, it could be an indicator of a simple infection or a tumor. This is why it's important for men to know what their normal PSA number is, Dr. Oz says. "You've got to get a baseline number. One of the big mistakes men get is they never get started. If you're 40 years of age, you ought to know what your PSA is."