Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH, is the enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is located beneath a man’s bladder, and its in charge of producing, storing and discharging semen during ejaculation. In men over forty years of age, the prostate gland will grow at different rates. Thus, it’s common to find different prostate sizes in this age group, ranging from small, to medium and large ones. Consequently, it’s worth noting that this condition is not always an illness, as most men will develop Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). Frequently, it’s just part of the natural aging process of men, and something that’s inevitable due to changes testosterone levels.
There are two types of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)
Non-obstructive and non-cancerous prostatic hyperplasia
A condition that does not require medical treatment. In this case, it is recommended that men over forty years of age must be checked by a Urology Specialist once a year. During these consultations, the Urology Specialist will follow and monitor prostate growth.
Obstructive prostatic hyperplasia
This condition is the obstruction of the urinary tract by an enlarged prostate that blocks and disrupts urine flow. This condition requires medical and/or surgical treatment, depending on the patient’s symptoms and prostate size.
Symptoms of Obstructive Prostatic Hyperplasia
The most common symptoms for this illness are the frequent need to urinate and a weak urine stream. Other common symptoms are difficulty starting urination, and an increase in the frequency of urination during the night.
To diagnose Obstructive Prostatic Hyperplasia, doctors evaluate a patient’s symptoms and order a bladder ultrasound to measure urine flow rate.
Once diagnosed, it’s important to know the complications that may arise from this condition. The most common complications are:
- Urinary tract infections
- Bleeding in urine
- Bladder stones
- Kidney failure
- Urinary retention
In this case, a Urology Specialist will extract the oversized prostate tissue that’s blocking the urine flow.
Some man over forty years of age who have Obstructive Prostatic Hyperplasia might also develop Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer is the second most common illness and the most prevalent cancer among men. Early detection of Prostate Cancer is paramount, as it will give your doctor the opportunity to prescribe a proper treatment which can lead to cure or long-term survival. Early detection of Prostate Cancer is made through a lab test called PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen, and in some cases through rectal examination. Once there is evidence of this condition, a prostate biopsy needs to be performed to confirm and have a definitive diagnosis.
Treatment of prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer has four stages (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4). Consequently, a patient’s treatment will depend on the stage in which prostate cancer is diagnosed. It’s important to note that, when early prostate cancer detection is achieved (during stage 1 or 2), it can be cured. When prostate cancer is detected in stage 3 or 4, it can be controlled thanks to the latest surgical procedures and medical treatments. Nevertheless, regardless of its stage, adequate and professional prostate cancer treatment is essential for achieving superior results.
Let’s not forget that Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is part of a grown men’s life and aging process. Two of its main complications, obstructive prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, can be effectively treated with a timely diagnose and adequate medical treatment from a Urology Specialist.
Remember: the most common diagnosis made by Urologists for men in the 45 to 74 age group is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Visiting your Urology Specialist once a year is a good and simple health practice that will give you peace of mind, and excellent quality of life for years to come.